“Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away.”
  • 46 years old
  • Born on May 8, 1965 in Akron, Ohio, United States.
  • Passed away on September 21, 2011 in Fort Lewis, Washington, United States.

This website was created in the memory of our loved one, Lisa Katz Pagel, who passed away after a courageous battle with gallbladder cancer. We will remember her forever.

Lisa Katz Pagel Scholarship

A scholarship fund has been started to honor Lisa at the Kent State School of Journalism and Mass Communication.  Memorials can be sent to: Lisa Katz Pagel Scholarship, c/o School of Journalism and Mass Comm., Kent State University, Kent, OH 44240

If you have any questions, feel free to call Barb Hipsman or her husband Bob Springer in Kent, OH at 330-678-0681.

Posted by Thomas Pagel on July 5, 2019
One more year, still missing your smile.
Posted by Marvin Katz on September 24, 2018
This is what our grandson Alex posted to Facebook in memory of his aunt Sauci, and I just had to share it here.
Alex Bobenrieth is feeling sad.
Yesterday at 12:22 PM ·
(Disclaimer: this is going to get emotional. You have been warned)
Dear Aunt Sauci (even though your real name is Lisa)
A post like this has been long-coming, and it's finally here.
It saddens me to think of the fact that 7 years and two days ago, you passed from this world. You were one of my closest confidantes and friends. I still remember things when I was younger; dancing together with Dad on the living room carpet. Putting my cold feet on your back and giggling when you would jump and exclaim in surprise and then chuckle along with me. Baking cookies together. You always accepted me for who I was and never gave me any reason to think otherwise.
I still remember how mom and grandma would tell me how I started calling you "Sauci." I couldn't pronounce 'Lisa' when I was younger, started calling you Sauci and the name stuck.
While your death affected my whole family, it affected me in a particular way that I thought I would bring to light. Even as your earthly body lies in a cemetery in Minnesota near the parents of your spouse, I sit here at home, thinking. But not crying. I didn’t cry at your funeral or at your celebration of life. That disturbed me. Did the autism that I was diagnosed with at three years old have something to do with this? What did it mean? Did that mean that I was a monster? Something that could not feel emotion, something that should be locked away, and forgotten? I have struggled with that idea on-and-off these past years, only recently having abolished those terrible thoughts.
6 years is a long time, and so much has happened in that time. When you left this earth I was just entering 5th grade. I was scared, lonely, and most of all, I was angry. Middle school helped somewhat, but it focused more on the social aspect of things. Inside I was still in pain, although it didn’t really come up too much. I guess I just got distracted by the day-to-day stuff of life. Good thing too all things considered. Who knows what could have happened if I had obsessed over your death in the months and years that followed the abominable event? But I know you wouldn’t want me to think too much about that so I won’t. I have accomplished so much these past seven years. I graduated from middle school with phenomenal grades, already having changed so much. But high school was a greater challenge still. It was an unfamiliar environment, but somehow I rose to the challenge and managed to break my limits. Now I am a couple of weeks into senior year. Sure, things aren’t easy, but what fun is that? I am taking advanced classes and having such a fun time. I am, for the first time in years, truly happy. The only thing I can think of that darkens this bright reality is the fact that I cannot share it with you. It breaks my heart all over again to think that you will never be able to see me graduate from high school, and then college, to attend my wedding, hold my firstborn child in your arms, to see me succeed in life. Now, I must make a confession.
To be honest, it wasn’t your death that hurt me the most. It wasn’t seeing your corpse in the casket at your funeral, wearing LIPSTICK of all things. I cannot remember a single time in my life where I have seen you wear lipstick and it looked wrong. It wasn’t seeing and hearing all the crying people at your funeral. It wasn’t seeing your husband’s broken face, red with the strain of trying not to cry and failing oh so terribly. No, it was something before all that. Let me backtrack a bit. When I first heard you had cancer, I didn’t think much of it. Getting sick was part of life. I got sick, my family and friends got sick, but they always got better. You would be no different. Even when you were a bit more fatigued most of the time from the strain of fighting your gallbladder cancer in the early stages, I saw no reason for alarm. Then, when I heard the news that the cancer was almost gone, I didn’t think twice, and was just happy that it was over and that we could move on.
But then the cancer came back with a vengeance. What hurt me was seeing a woman that for so long had been one of the strongest and most amazing people I knew get beaten down so brutally by cancer that she could barely walk, and at times, speak. And I couldn’t do a damn thing about it. I have always taken pride in being able to help people. But being faced with a situation out of my expertise where the best thing for me to do was sit back and wait was the cruelest thing that the man upstairs could have done. I felt so damn helpless and useless, and I hated it. Having to watch over the course of weeks and months as cancer slowly tore you apart from the inside out was the worst thing that has ever happened to me. Nothing comes close to comparing. You would throw up almost everything you ingested, and were only drinking water for the taste and for the pleasant sensation. I began to think that you wouldn’t make it. Looking back at this makes me realize something. True fear/dread requires hope, the belief that things can still become better. That is what makes the pain all the worse, when the hope is destroyed.
Thankfully, I haven’t been consumed by this pain. You and the other people in my life both indirectly and directly taught me how to cope with it. I am grateful that I have such great friends and loved ones surrounding me today. Because of them, I don’t need to worry about being consumed by grief and pain. That doesn’t mean I won’t forget you, just that it won’t hurt as bad. I thought I would write you this so that I could move on, and learn from this experience. Your death taught me a valuable lesson about pain. It was a hard lesson, but with age came understanding. Those who try to erase pain only exacerbate it. Those who redirect it or lessen it, those are the ones who can live healthily with it. I hope I can help other people learn this lesson. I guess the reason I derive pleasure from making other people smile is because it helps me come to terms with my own pain. Hopefully I’ll see you again someday (just not too soon). I know you must be proud of me with all I have accomplished so far, and I hope things work out in my life so I can continue to honor your memory. I miss you more every day but if you ever read this, somewhere, somehow, I want you to know that you were an inspiration to everyone around you, but especially to me.
Love always,
Your nephew, Alex
Posted by Michelle Mann on September 21, 2018
Thinking of Lisa fondly today. Our short time together at Leavenworth has left an imprint. Wishing all of Lisa’s family and friends a day of cherishing the memories they hold dear.
~just wanted you all to know we haven’t forgotten Lisa and her generosity,smiles,laughter and genuine love of life.
Sincerely, Michelle Mann
Posted by Thomas Pagel on September 21, 2018
Still missing your smile.
Posted by Marvin Katz on May 9, 2018
We are a day late with this tribute (health problems) but we were still thinking of you yesterday, today and just about every day. We see your picture every day and miss you.
Mom and Dad
Posted by Thomas Pagel on May 8, 2018
Thinking of you more this day then the rest. All my love!
Posted by Beth Nelson on September 24, 2017
Whenever I feel tired and distressed about the world I will often remember Lisa and how she lived her life "all in", embracing the moments given to her that day. I remember how she asked me to lunch when we met at an Army spouse class in Kansas, and how we would laugh and smile and talk about life. And then I remember to live my life like she did. She taught me a lot- and her memory encourages me to this day! Miss her much, love to her friends and family as we all remember with so much love.
Posted by Valerie And Morgan Schlec... on September 22, 2017
Thinking of you this week, you're always in our thoughts. Missing and remembering how much you enjoyed the kiddos and snapping all those pictures.
love always- Chris, Kendra, Michaela, Leandra, Morgan and Valerie
Posted by Marvin Katz on September 22, 2017
Missing you on this day, Lisa, as on all other days.
Mom and Dad
Posted by Kayla Pagel on September 21, 2017
So tonight we'll eat pie and play a card game and talk about your happy smile, the way you and Thomas looked at each other during the wedding week-end and even about snowmobiling in MN during the holidays. All good memories we never want to lose.  Loving you always -- Kayla, John, Peter, and Hope
Posted by Kayla Pagel on May 9, 2017
We think about you and smile when we do. Love Kayla, Hope, Peter and John
Posted by Thomas Pagel on May 8, 2017
Still missing you on this day.
Posted by Allison Eckhardt on May 8, 2017
I think of Lisa often -- remembering her on this beautiful day.
Posted by Marvin Katz on May 8, 2017
Joyce and I just finished Caffee Borgias at Caffee Destino in Lisa's memory, with Susie, Paulina, and Susie's neighbors, Maria and Tracy. Really missing you today, with all the memories floating around.
Posted by Valerie And Morgan Schlec... on September 21, 2016
Forever remembered, forever missed.
- Leandra, Michaela, Kendra, Christopher
                      Valerie and Morgan
Posted by Kayla Pagel on September 21, 2016
Another year -- and yet when I look at your pictures I can't help but smile! I am so very glad our family includes you. 

Hope, Peter, Kayla and John
Posted by Allison Eckhardt on September 21, 2016
Forever in our thoughts.
Posted by Barb Springer on September 21, 2016
Must be close to homecoming think of you often and fondly and grateful to see your sister's family and Marv and June when I visit Portland!
Posted by Thomas Pagel on September 21, 2016
All my love!
Posted by Marvin Katz on September 21, 2016
So many pictures, so many memories to sustain us on this, the fifth anniversary of the day we lost Lisa. We miss her still, and all the joy and laughter she brought to so many.
Mom and Dad
Posted by Beth Nelson on December 4, 2015
Thinking of you today, Lisa, and remembering how you embraced life each day for what it had to give. I am remembering your smile and laughter and how much you encouraged those around you to pursue their dreams. Thank you for all the things you taught me and for all the things you continue to teach me, just by remembering you.
Posted by Kayla Pagel on September 22, 2015
Miss you and love you always and forever. Peter, Hope, John and Kayla
Posted by Marvin Katz on September 22, 2015
Missing you on a daily basis. You left so many memories.
Mom and Dad
Posted by Allison Eckhardt on September 21, 2015
Those that touch our lives .... stay in our hearts forever.
Posted by Valerie And Morgan Schlec... on September 21, 2015
As you were you will always be,
Treasured forever in our memory.
- missing you - Leandra, Michaela, Kendra, Christopher
Morgan and Valerie
Posted by Thomas Pagel on September 21, 2015
All my love!
Posted by Thomas Pagel on May 9, 2015
Still missing you!
Love now and always
Posted by Barb Springer on May 8, 2015
50? Wish you love today that reflects the love you showed all of us with your quick wit and ever-present smile! Thanks to Marv and Joyce and friends and family who have endowed the scholarship in your name. Decades of student journalists will be able to participate more with that little boost. Thanks to all. Happy Birthday, Lisa!
Posted by Marvin Katz on September 22, 2014
Susie, Ralph, Alex, Adriana, Aunt June, Uncle Andy, Mom and Dad remembered Lisa yesterday with razzleberry pie and ice cream, one of her favorite desserts. Three years gone, she is still missed.

In her honor and memory, Mom and Dad have arranged for the Lisa Katz Pagel Scholarship at Kent State University to be fully endowed.
Posted by Valerie And Morgan Schlec... on September 21, 2014
Thinking of you today, as always, we found this poem.                                                          
                                                                Everyday in some small way
Memories of you come our way.
Though absent, you are always near
Still missed, loved and always dear.

- missing you - Leandra, Michaela, Kendra, Christopher
Morgan and Valerie
Posted by Thomas Pagel on September 21, 2014
I found it hard to sleep last night thinking of you and all things I wanted to tell you over this past year, the good and the bad. I found this poem by Richard Netherland Cook.  I talks about dreaming and wishing, my only change would be that you were still me my love, and I could make this dream come true. 

Love you, now and forever!

If I could dream
The dream I wanted too,
I would close my eyes,
And dream a dream for you.

I would give you all the world,
That you are deserving of,
And to you I would give
My everlasting love.

I would see to it,
That you were never sad.
And nothing in your life
Would ever happen bad.

I would wish for you,
All things would go your way,
And you would always be happy,
Each and every day.

In my dream
You would stay
Just as beautiful
As you are today.

Life for you would be as perfect
As the blueness of the sky,
And no one would ever hurt you,
Or ever make you cry.

I know it's just a dream,
But if dreams could come true,
I would close my eyes,
And dream a dream for you.
Posted by Barb Springer on May 9, 2014
Happy birthday, Lisa. While i spent many hours mowing the fresh spring grass here in Kent, I remembered how you always seemed to drive down the lane here every now and then to catch me mowing. It has been really wet so it smells lovely. Thinking of you. Barb
Posted by Kayla Pagel on December 25, 2013
Today was a beautiful day here in Minnesota -- white, fluffy snow on the ground, bright sunshine and love. It brings to mind the special time we spent together in December 2009 and your happy smile. Aunt Lisa, we never stop thinking about you. Love, Hope, Peter, John and Kayla
Posted by Barb Springer on December 13, 2013
As we head into the holiday season many of us will have fond thoughts and memories of Lisa Katz Pagel.
   One person who will be “forever grateful” is the two-time Lisa Katz Pagel scholarship winner, Carrie Blazina.
    Thomas’ sister asked for a few details about Carrie, a senior news major, graduating May 2014.
    The School of Journalism and Mass Communication is very proud of Carrie as are her parents Jan Kukucka and Ed Blazina, a journalist in Pittsburgh.
   “I am so thankful for the scholarship so I could stay here at KSU and be able to finance my education. KSU has given me such great opportunities for experience and internships, “ said Carrie, upon hearing she was to be featured on the Forever Missed site.
   Carrie has held internships at the Denver Post and the Columbus Dispatch – both for copy editing. The Post was a prestigious Dow Jones Newspaper Fund internship.
   Ms. Blazina studied in Florence in the College of Communication and Information’s program in the Spring of 2013 and has been the copy desk chief and managing editor for the Daily Kent Stater.
   You will remember that both Lisa and Marv Katz were editors at the DKS.
   Carrie hopes to land a copy editing job in May. We wish her a lot of luck. A new scholarship winner will be announced in April 2014.

(The total in the scholarship fund on December 1, 2013 was a little over $14,000 in payments and pledges. If you have ideas for fundraising or would like more information about donating, please contact Christine Isenberg, 330-672-2767 or cisenber@kent.edu. Ms. Isenberg is the development associate assigned to Journalism.)
Posted by Valerie And Morgan Schlec... on September 21, 2013
Saw this and thought of you ~ “Some people come into our lives and quickly go. Some people move our souls to dance. They awaken us to new understandings with the passing whisper of their wisdom. Some people make the sky more beautiful to gaze upon. They stay in our lives for awhile, leave footprints in our heart, and we are never ever the same." Love always the Schlechts
Posted by Marvin Katz on September 21, 2013
We're particularly missing Lisa today, so we--Mom, Dad, Susie, Ralph, Alex and Adriana--decided to celebrate her life with activities she would have enjoyed: Breakfast together outdoors at a local breakfast-lunch place called Sweet Betty's and then walking and shopping at the Gresham Farmers' Market. Now Mom and Dad are watching the Kent State-Penn State football game on TV. Go, Flashes!
Posted by Michelle Mann on May 9, 2013
I took Thomas' suggestion and had a cup of coffee. I thought about you and the laughter and joy you always radiated when we spoke. Olivia mentioned you just the other day...you touched her life with your kindness and gentle spirit. You are not forgotten. Love, Michelle
Posted by Marvin Katz on May 8, 2013
The photos here bring back pleasant memories and help take away the hurt from losing you so soon. Thinking of you often, and often at the oddest times, as if you are near.
Mom and Dad
Posted by Barb Springer on May 8, 2013
Thinking of you today - what a lovely flowery day in Kent, Ohio.
Posted by June Mancz on May 8, 2013
Always in our hearts. Have a beautiful heavenly birthday. We love you!
Posted by Thomas Pagel on May 8, 2013
To my love, I miss you daily. 
Love you, Pagel
Posted by Kayla Pagel on September 21, 2012
Today I read two new passages while thinking of you.
   "In my end is my beginning."
   "There is nothing ever final about the end of anything".
We know we will be with you again. Love Hope, Peter, John, Kayla
Posted by Valerie And Morgan Schlec... on September 21, 2012
We read this and we thought of you Lisa -
"This day is remembered and quietly kept no words are needed we will never forget for those we love don't go away they walk beside us everyday unseen and unheard but always near so loved so missed and so very dear" Always in our thoughts, love - Chris, Kendra, Michaela, Leandra, Morgan and Valerie
Posted by Barb Springer on September 21, 2012
Today. Tomorrow. For years to come, your smile and loving personality will be missed. Barb and Bob
Posted by Allison Eckhardt on September 21, 2012
Always In Our Thoughts, Forever In Our Hearts.  Allison, George, Josh & Jacob
Posted by Craig Savage on September 21, 2012
On behalf of many of Lisa's friends, colleagues and Bull City/Chapel Hill peeps, I just want to share that I/we are thinking of Lisa, Thomas, the Katzes and Bobenrieths...especially on this day. 

To Lisa: I think of you daily, I miss you always, I am forever grateful for all that you contributed to my life.
Posted by Kayla Pagel on March 21, 2012
it is so hard to think that six months have passed by today. We think and talk about you and Thomas each day and smile when we do so. This quote from Helen Keller hangs on our wall now -- "What we have once enjoyed we can never lose. All that we love becomes a part of us.".   Love always from Hope, Peter, Kayla and John
Posted by Valerie And Morgan Schlec... on December 25, 2011
Thinking of you Aunt Lisa, today and always. We miss you.
Morgan, Valerie, Leandra, Michaela, Kendra, and Christopher Schlecht
Posted by Patty Courtright on November 19, 2011
I am so blessed to have Lisa as a dear friend. She taught me what it means to be truly joyous, not only in happy times but also in the face of adversity and in dealing with circumstances far beyond our control. I miss you! Thank you to Lisa's wonderful family for sharing her with us. And thank you, Thomas, for coming back into Lisa's life and making her so happy. Blessings to you all.
Posted by Kayla Pagel on November 18, 2011
Today I read an interview conducted with Maya Angelou and it made me think of Lisa. Maya said, "I try to see each day as a celebration. My intent is to be totally present in that day. And laugh as much as possible." We miss you
Lisa -- and we'll try harder to follow your example of celebrating each day and laughing as much as we can.

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