Family mourns woman killed in CrossFit gym roof collapse

Family mourns woman killed in CrossFit gym roof collapse
Published: Feb. 21, 2023 at 7:11 AM AKST
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ANCHORAGE, Alaska (KTUU) - Tragedy struck the Anchorage CrossFit community over the weekend after a roof collapsed during a competition, killing a young woman.

Alaska’s News Source met with the family of the woman killed, Sadie Huffer, to learn more about her and how her family is memorializing the young mother.

“It just came to me,” said Ted Smith, Sadie Huffer’s father. “We don’t want to talk about Sadie ‘was’ this person. We want to talk about how Sadie ‘is’ this person.”

Smith was reminiscing in a room full of Sadie Huffer’s family. Huffer’s family allowed us into her home where stories were told.

Sadie’s husband, John Paul Huffer, cited her favorite psalm, which he says helps him and the rest of her family hang on.

“It was always her rock as I am now for myself and my children,” John Paul Huffer said. “‘Be still, and know that I am with you.’ The quote lends itself to the idea that God has a plan. Knowing and trusting that while I was waiting in the cold to find out if she was still with us, is what kept me standing. It’s what allowed me to get back in my truck and drive 20 miles back in the snowstorm to tell my children what had happened.”

Sadie Huffer’s family told story after story Monday. One was about Sadie the blueberry picker.

“It was her favorite pastime,” Samantha Lamphier, Sadie’s sister, said. “She was an avid, avid picker. She loved blueberries. There were so many times, to the point where it was like, ‘Sadie, no, no I can’t make it this time.’”

Another story was about Sadie the prolific angler.

“She starts picking fish and I’m sitting out there and the net starts going wacko ... It just lights up like a Christmas tree,” John Paul Huffer said.

Huffer was a social worker. She had worked at Providence Alaska Medical Center for 15 consecutive years.

“She knew exactly who she was and what was going on,” Smith said. “She was able to have that basis, that rock, to go ahead and do — like Sarah’s saying — being this quiet, but firm, person in a time of crisis.”

The family says they’re planning events in Sadie’s honor, including a possible polar plunge.