The Quidditch Post is saddened to learn of the passing of Karen Barnett, a chaser on the Silver Phoenix. To remember her, we asked her teammates at Texas A&M University to share their memories:Aron Gebremicael (Texas A&M seeker): She gave me the strength I needed to keep going as a seeker. She always encouraged me and made sure I was in the best spirits even if I didn't have the grab. Karen you will be greatly missed and my thoughts and prayers go out to your family.
Albert Coronado (Texas A&M chaser): She was the fiercest player in the smallest package and always had a smile on her face. Couldn't help but smile with her anytime I was around her. She was there the first time I came to quidditch and was one of the people that really talked me into coming out to play. Karen you will be missed so very much.
Rosemary Ross (Texas A&M beater): Karen Barnett was everything that was good about our program; the absolute embodiment of Texas A&M Quidditch. She was determined, strong and every time she got knocked down she got right back up and played even harder. She made us all smile and laugh and we will always have the countless memories of the time that she shared with us and I am grateful for that. We love you Karen, rest in peace.
Courtney Johnson (Silver Phoenix chaser): Karen was an inspiration to me both on and off the pitch. She may have been small but she never backed down from even the fiercest opponent. She made some great tackles but would then come right off the pitch and hug her teammates. She was one of the toughest people I've ever met, and also one of the kindest. Karen had a way of making people laugh, no matter the circumstances. She was a great player and an incredible person, and she will be greatly missed.
Uday Toodi (Silver Phoenix chaser): My last interaction with Karen Barnett was an incredibly fantastic one. We were standing in line for a drill and she noticed my cleats, "Uday, your cleats are beautiful," she said. In classic fashion I replied, "You're beautiful, Karen." I think those were the last words I said to her; no others could be more true. You are beautiful Karen.
I know you're watching over us now, I feel safer knowing that.
Fly high Karen.
Fly high Karen.
Steven Shepard: Karen was unlike anyone I have ever met. She was simultaneously one of the most fiery, fiercely competitive as well as kind and joyful spirits I've ever encountered. She could fearlessly tackle a man twice her size, and then also make you feel valued and cares for as a friend. God called a real winner home. Rest in peace, Karen. I will always remember the time I had to know you, and am honored to have called you my friend.
Trey Windon (Silver Phoenix coach, captain and Karen’s boyfriend):
Karen Marie Barnett:
Where to really even begin? You are the most wonderful person I have ever met. It makes me sad that I can't recall the very first moment I met you (but neither could she). I first noticed you at practice as "the short chaser who couldn't catch" and you knew me as "the keeper who came from nowhere" but man, could you tackle. It did not matter who it was you went up against, you showed no fear on defense. We had little interaction outside of the ordinary for a while, but that all changed at WC VII.
I remember you seemed upset on the drive there (I mean you were stuck in a van with yours truly) but you would later be my saving grace as the only one that stayed up with me at 3 in the morning on the way back. And from there, the adventure took a new shape. We started talking more, hanging out everyday and either "running" or throwing a quaffle around talking quidditch. We clicked on every fundamental level, but stupid me didn't see the obvious so we just remained friends for the fall season.
During that time, I became closer to you than I had anyone else and realized that we basically were dating. In mid-November, we made it official and thus began the best 4 months of my entire life. We hung out all the time at practice and always went back to my place to watch Netflix. It's a shame we never got passed season 2 of Friday Night Lights. You were with me through the highs and the lows and I will cherish every single moment of it for the rest of my life you perfect little angel.
I remember the last 24 hours before the wreck quite well. You were stressed and seemed like something was wrong at practice but you assured me everything was fine. We hung out late afterwards and you went home around one. Then Thursday came...
We texted a bit that morning (for some reason in backwards words but I loved those quirky moments). We talked about me being tired and you joked that sleep wasn't that important. And that's the last words you ever said to me. Your mom called me right as I got out of lab and I rushed to the ER to go see you. I couldn't believe. I didn't believe it when I first saw you. I didn't believe it when I saw you at Temple, and I still didn't believe it as they pulled out the tubes and you went peacefully as I held your hand.
I will never forget your smile, your contagious joy, and understanding, and the happiness you brought me. At the very least I hope I brought you the same amount of happiness. I will never forget you. You are the single most wonderful and sweetest person I have ever met. I will always miss you. I love you so so much.
P.S. Just so we can have a laugh at the end of this, milk was a bad choice, all's hell that ends well, OHAI MARK, and No Trey that's not how that works
For those wishing to support Karen’s family in this difficult time, donations may be made here. Our thoughts and prayers are with Karen’s family and friends, and the Texas A&M community as they deal with this tragic loss. We invite everyone to share their memories of Karen in the comment section and on our Facebook page so that her memory may live on through ours.