Katie Rhoten


I still remember the very day I met Lori.  It was in 1990 at the University of Northern Colorado. Lori moved into Lawrenson Hall early and was not one of the roommates I had already communicated with prior to arriving on campus.

Lori was originally in overflow housing, but one of the girls that was going to live with me had changed plans.  Lori was moved from the study room she would have lived in to our apartment.  So here I am, shlepping my stuff up and meet Lori in the apartment.  Things happen for a reason.  Lori and I hit it off right away.  She had the same colors for her bedding as I and we found it very easy to get to know each other from that first hello.

I was originally going to share a bedroom with one of the other girls, but I knew at that moment Lori was the roommate for me.  I had extra long twin sheets, so we swapped the mattress on what would be my bed for the longer one in the other bedroom.  It was so fun getting settled in with Lori.

If I can say one thing about Lori and what she meant to me the time she graced the earth with her infectious spirit, it would be that she is the best thing that could’ve happened to me in college.

We became sisters over the years.  Lori knew me better than I knew myself.  We had lots of fun during college and after but the one thing that still surprises me and makes me smile is that she knew who I would marry before I even did.

I had met Ryan and we started dating in late July 1994.  Lori met him Labor Day weekend when she visited us in Phoenix while she was attending University of Arizona to earn her master’s degree.  When Lori went home and had her regular weekly call with her mom, she informed Mom that she had met the man I was going to marry.  I had no idea, but she was right.  We’ve been married for over 17 years now.

Lori’s ability to find the good in people and connect with others had always amazed me.  She loved life, shared her gifts with others and really found her passion in teaching students that were hearing impaired.

I hope others will find her story to be inspirational to do more, share more, be more.  We each have a gift and should strive to find it and develop the gift to take out into the world.

Lori will always be in my heart and is truly missed.  My life is definitely better for having experienced this beautiful friendship of ours.