Reporting Rachel Slavik
OSCEOLA, Wis. (WCCO) – When fire destroyed the home on 240th Street near Osceola, it also took a big piece of Shawna Maier’s family.
“I don’t think we can heal. You just keep going and that’s what we’re going to have to do,” said Maier, who lost her niece and sister in Tuesday’s fire.
The loss of her older sister, Shelli, is made even harder knowing the risk her sister faced as a longtime member of the Minnesota National Guard. Shelli was deployed during the First Gulf War, Iraq, and to Somalia.
“You just imagine if you’re going to lose her, you’ll lose her to a war. To lose her this way is pretty difficult,” said Maier.
While the death of her sister is difficult, the loss of her niece is unimaginable. The unforgiving flames also claimed 16-year-old Makayla Corbin.
“I want everybody to know that Makayla was the sweetest, most kind-hearted girl you could know,” said Maier.
A sophomore at Osceola High School, Makayla was a soccer player, a member of band and drama and a talented writer.
“We’re going to miss her lovely smile and charismatic, unique personality,” said Mark Luebker, Superintendent of the Osceola School District.
In a small town like Osceola, one family’s loss has touched almost everyone.
“It does affect you personally,” said Luebker.
That realization is helping Maier’s family cope with the sorrow.
“We are so blessed to have so many caring people that are there for us in this time. We appreciate that. It doesn’t go unnoticed,” said Maier.
Funeral arrangements have been set for both Shelli and Makayla for Saturday. Visitation starts at 1 p.m. at Peace Valley Lutheran in Dresser, WI. The funeral begins at 2 p.m.
Shelli’s younger son was with his father in Montana during the fire. He’s flying back to Minnesota to spend time with family.
The family has set up a memorial fund in honor of Shelli Maier and Makayla Corbin at Royal Credit Union.