March 14, 1978 – September 21, 2021
Kori Freeman Crow filled her 43 years of life with enough adventure and friendship to last several lifetimes. She died in her sleep at her home in Austin, Texas, on September 21, 2021, after a series of extended illnesses. Kori and her family called East Sooke home from 2018 to 2019.
Born on March 14, 1978, in Landstuhl, Germany, with a formidable degree of moxie and confidence, Kori shattered conventions and was fiercely true to herself. Raised first in El Paso and then Central Texas, Kori graduated from Round Rock High School in 1996, where she was perhaps the school’s most memorable dragon mascot.
Performing stunts that resulted in a broken bone and a bout of pneumonia from cheering in pounds of wet fur, Kori was the very definition of total commitment.
At the age of eight, her bedroom donned posters of Ronald Reagan and cassette tapes of his speeches. In high school, she began campaigning for local candidates, which foreshadowed a successful career in political consulting.
Never satisfied to be a mere participant, Kori was editor of the school newspaper, the Spitfire, for two years. When asked by her journalism teacher, Susan Komandosky, why she was interested in journalism, Kori responded that she wanted to be the White House press secretary, like Marlin Fitzwater, her hero at the time.
Kori graduated from Concordia University Texas in Austin, where she majored in Communications. She developed a travel bug while taking a biology field trip with Dr. Larry Meissner, a habit she imparted to her husband, which led to a nearly 20-year journey together around the world.
Kori met Chad Crow while running her first campaign for Austin attorney Joe Anderson. Kori and Chad were married on May 26, 2002 under a giant oak tree at Old Settlers Park in Round Rock. They were two strong spirits that made for a fascinating cocktail. They lived in six different countries and traveled extensively through at least 60 others.
Following their honeymoon in Peru, Kori and Chad formed a political consulting firm, KC Strategies. After 19 years and over 300 campaigns, the firm is still going strong today. They have won every award imaginable, from an Emmy to a CLIO, which on any given day can be found holding down papers or propping open doors in their two-bedroom Hyde Park bungalow.
In 2017, Kori received the Texas Blazing Star Award from the Women’s Chamber of Commerce of Texas. In the same year, she was honored by the American Association of Political Consultants as one of the 40 best and brightest campaign professionals in the nation under 40-years-old.
Despite this success, Kori refused to be defined by her work. Her real living took place traveling the globe, turning strangers into friends, and diving headfirst into her hobbies. While living in Argentina, she enrolled in the Mausi Sebess International Institute of Culinary Arts and earned a degree (all in Spanish), which led to a stint at Chef Saul Bolton’s Michelin- star restaurant in Brooklyn, New York.
While living on Utila, a small island off the coast of Honduras, she became a Certified Master Scuba Diver Instructor with PADI (the Professional Association of Diving Instructors), in order to share her love of the sea and her spirit animal, the nudibranch (look it up), with others.
Kori’s faith journey was as eclectic as her personality. As a child, she loved church, church camps, and Wednesday night and Sunday night youth group at the Methodist church. Later in life, she reconnected with her Catholic heritage and was also a student of eastern religions.
During her travels, she was fortunate enough to attend an audience in Rome with His Holiness Pope John Paul II and a teaching in India with His Holiness the Dalai Lama.
Kori’s legacy and her spirit live on in her son, Francis Edward Crow. He was born February 8, 2019 at Victoria General Hospital in Victoria, British Columbia, while the couple was living in the small community of East Sooke on Vancouver Island. A dual citizen, Francis was endued with Kori’s travel bug from (literally) Day 1. While he is only two-and-a-half years old, his life will be filled with the stories and lives of those who were forever influenced by the larger-than-life personality of his mother.
Kori is survived by her husband, Chad, and son, Francis, parents Mike and Starr Freeman, sister and brother-in-law Lacey and Bill Eaton, niece Samantha Davis, nephew Toby Eaton, father-in- law and mother-in-law Joe and Pat Crow, uncle and aunt Pat and Cindy Keith, uncle and aunt Joey and Norma Keith, and cousin Kelly Higdon, along with family and friends too numerous to mention.
A celebration of her life will be held on Saturday, October 2, at First United Methodist Church in Round Rock, Texas. A Rosary Service will be held from 9:30 am to 10 am., and the Memorial Service will start at 10:30 am.
A reception will follow at the Family Life Center. The service will be streamed online for those unable to attend and the friends Kori has made in every corner of the world. When it is available, the link to stream the service will be placed here: https://www. beckchapels.com/obituary/kori-crow
At a later date, Kori’s ashes will be placed in the mausoleum at Restlawn Memorial Park in El Paso, Texas in the same vault as her great grandmother, Helen Ruth Kessel, who helped raise her, and who Kori lovingly referred to as “Mom.” Kori was a restless spirit, and Mom was the one person in her life who always gave her peace.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Meissner Biology Field Trip Endowment Fund at Concordia University Texas. Kori founded the endowment in 2006 so that students with financial needs could enjoy the same experience that first gave her the travel bug. Please make checks payable to “Concordia University Texas” and mail to 11400 Concordia University Drive, Austin, TX 78726. Please put “Meissner Biology Field Trip Endowment Fund” on the memo line.
Alternately, you can donate online by visiting Concordia.edu/giving. Click the “Make a Gift” link at the top of the page, choose “Other – Donor Designated Gift” and then type the name of the endowment fund in the box below.
Kori Freeman Crow was a protector, a lover, and a friend. When she hugged you, you felt safe. When she laughed, she laughed with her whole being. We are all better having known and loved her.