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La Crescent

Hokah woman killed on Christmas Eve will be missed throughout community

Rick Solem

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Kerrie Hauser making folks happy with all kinds of fun owl-themed snacks. (PHOTO: @InternationalOwlCenter on Facebook)

A Christmas Eve tragedy affects, not just a family, but an entire community.

While walking her dog on Christmas Eve, Kerrie Hauser was killed in a hit-and-run on Highway 16 in Hokah, Minn.

The Caledonia High School graduate and 20-year veteran will, of course, be missed by her family. But, the 49-year-old spent countless hours volunteering throughout the community, including at the International Owl Center in Houston, Minn.

“Her siblings would always help — her mom, her son,” Owl Center executive director Karla Bloem told the La Crosse Talk PM audience Monday. “Her son wears our giant owl mascot costume. She and her family have been a big part of our owl festival for a lot of years.”

Each year, the Owl Center puts on the Festival of Owls. It was one of the big things the 49-year-old Hauser helped out with.

“You maybe didn’t notice her there, because she was always in the background, just making sure everything was running smoothly, doing whatever needed to get done, without getting any of the glory for it,” Bloem said.

It wasn’t just the Owl Center, where Hauser will be missed. She, and her reading dog Lexie, volunteered at the Houston Public Library. She also volunteered at the Windy Ridge Therapeutic Riding Center and the Community Church of Hokah, according to a post by the Owl Center.

Hauser enlisted in the Air Force in 1987. According to her obituary, she was a 20-year-veteran, who worked the past 15 years as a project manager with the Army Corps of Engineers in La Crescent, Minn.

Police have yet to release who was driving the SUV. The accident occured around 10:30 a.m., near Hauser’s home.

Host of WIZM's La Crosse Talk PM and "liberal hack" | University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point graduate | Hometown: Greenville, Wis | Avid noonball basketball player and sand volleyballer in La Crosse