The family of Katherine Goldstein, who was killed in the mass shooting at Highland Park's Independence Day parade Monday, remembered her as the "best mom in the world" and "such a good person."
Here's what her family penned following her death:
Above all else, Katherine “Katie” Goldstein put family first. “She was the best mom in the world,” her daughters Cassie and Alana said. Her husband Craig, a hospital physician, has been touched by the number of people who have told him that Katie was their best friend. She was a kind and giving person to everyone who crossed her path. A friend said, “Katie was such a good person, and you became a better person in her presence.” “I never heard her say a bad word about anyone,” Craig said.
Katie and Craig initially met at Marquette University and then reconnected 20 years later. Craig noted that when they saw each other for the first time after 20 years, they both knew they were going to fall in love and marry. Katie devoted herself to motherhood and caring for her family. “Raising our daughters, enjoying adventures together – I was living a fairy tale,” said Craig.
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Katie was Cassie’s biggest fan when she was in the Highland Park High School Marching Band and attended every one of Alana’s musical performances. “She came to my middle school show all three nights that it ran,” recalled Alana. Katie enjoyed playing board games with her family and organized late night contests for Bananagrams. She was known to say that even when her daughters went off to college, she didn’t feel like an “empty nester” because she still had Craig in the house.
Katie’s kindness and generosity were evident throughout her life. A superb cook, she always accommodated special requests and prepared meals for extended family and friends. Vegan? Vegetarian? Fish allergy? No problem for Chef Katie. She helped care for her elderly parents in Wisconsin and her mother-in-law who lived with the Goldsteins in Highland Park. She was a nurturing friend who gave everyone her full attention.
Katie also loved being outside, enjoying visits to the Chicago Botanic Garden and involving her entire family in her passion for bird watching. She loved to downhill ski with family. She pursued her love of nature and animals by visiting exotic locations including the Peruvian Amazon, Costa Rica, and Panama.
Goldstein was at the parade with her daughter Cassie Goldstein, who told NBC Nightly News that she thought at first that the gunfire was fireworks. But then she looked up and saw the shooter firing down on the children.
“And I told her that it was a shooter and that she had to run," Cassie Goldstein said.
They both ran, next to each other, but her mother was shot in the chest and fell, Cassie Goldstein said.
“I knew she was dead,” Cassie Goldstein said. I "just told her that I loved her, but I couldn’t stop, because he was still shooting everyone next to me. So, I just kept running, and I hid behind a trash can.”
When the shooting stopped, she went back to her mother.
Katie Goldstein had been mourning her mother's recent death and wanted to have some fun when she decided to attend the holiday parade, Cassie Goldstein said.
The day before, they had gone to the botanic gardens, got Dairy Queen and went to a movie. On the day of the parade, “My mom was waving to the floats as they walked by," Cassie Goldstein said. "She was having a good time.”
“And I got to have 22 years with the best mom in the world," Cassie Goldstein said. "I did everything with her. She was my best friend.”
Katie Goldstein's husband, Craig, told NBC Nightly News, “I can’t believe how many best friends Katie has."
“Katie was the kindest, gentlest person you’d ever meet.”
“She was really selfless, and seemingly always upbeat,” he said. “... She touched so many people in a positive way,” he said.