Gamma Phi Beta remembers meningitis victim Kristin Marx

by Jens Krogstad

The women of Gamma Phi Beta held a memorial service at their sorority house last night to remember their sister Kristin “Kris” Marx, who died last week of meningococcal meningitis.

More than 100 people, many from the greek community, attended the memorial.

To open the service, the women of Gamma Phi Beta slowly walked into their living room, some holding hands and others clutching tissues, singing their sorority’s song as they passed a collage of pictures featuring Marx.

Tracey Borgen, one of Marx’s closest friends, recited a poem and said a few opening words.

“She was the most fun person I’ve ever met in my life,” Borgen said. “She always had a smile on her face.”

Cassie Tesmer, one of Marx’s roommates, recalled her fondest memories of Marx.

“Some of the best memories I have of Kris are of us goofing around and being girls and being stupid,” she said. “I never knew a person who didn’t love Kris.”

Standing in front of an altar holding two vases of carnations and four candles, Jason Taragos of the Sigma Chi fraternity gave a tribute that ranged from joking to serious and left many red-eyed and sniffling.

“Next time you’re having a bad day, look up to the sky and smile, because you know she’ll be smiling back down at you,” Taragos said.

Marx, 20, from Madison, Wis., was a Carlson School of Management sophomore. She was admitted to Fairview-University Medical Center on March 25 and was diagnosed with meningococcal meningitis. She was pronounced dead March 27.

Marx was a top student, enjoyed playing softball and was looking forward to this year’s Spring Jam. She had recently gotten a new “little sister” in the sorority.

For Marx, a “big sister,” this was perhaps what she was most excited about, Borgen said.

The program pairs older sorority sisters with newer members to provide a friend and a mentor.

“(The little sister) is a special friend to help,” said the chapter’s president Ashley Jensen. “You develop a special bond with them and they become your family.”

Borgen said she will remember Marx as a person who had the unique ability to always make someone smile and who loved her friends and family.

“Every room she went into, she’d make an effort to talk to everyone,” Borgen said.

Tesmer echoed that statement in the last words of her speech.

“We have a saying in our sorority, ‘One woman, many stars,’ ” she said. “I think it could now be ‘One woman, many stars – one angel.’ “