EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. (WCCO) — A woman killed by a falling tree in Eden Prairie Saturday evening is being fondly remembered by her family.
According to her 18-year-old daughter Lindsay, 56-year-old Nina Mackay had a passion for her husband and two children, love for her dogs and a strong affinity for Post-It Notes.
“You look up on the counter…they’re everywhere,” Lindsay said. “Every time I woke up, there’d be a note next to my bed.”
Lindsay and her father, Ian, describe Nina as organized and in-charge. But no amount of preparation could have readied them for what was to happen.
“We’re all in, you know, deep shock, not understanding what’s going on,” Ian said.
Moments after Ian got home from work on Friday, his bride of 23 years greeted him with a smile. An avid runner, Nina headed out for an evening stroll with a friend and her dogs on a city trail in Eden Prairie’s Miller Park, about a half mile from the family home.
“I came upstairs, changed my shirt, came downstairs and out the front door was a little puppy with his leash attached, and he found his way home,” he said.
Ian would eventually discover that his wife was killed when a 90-year-old basswood tree, which was 2½ feet in diameter, fell on her. Her friend and one of her dogs were also hit by the tree, but they are both physically fine.
The tree appeared healthy, and officials are investigating why it fell. There were winds of up to 23 mph in the area at the time.
Ian had to contact Lindsay, who was in Ely with family friends, with the horrific news.
“It was about, like, a four and a half, five-hour drive. It was silence. No one knew what to say,” Lindsay said.
But Lindsay says her mother would know what to do.
“She would tell us not to sit around and be in the house, and go out for a run or go be active…she would not want us to mourn, but she’d want us to celebrate,” she said. “I want her confidence, knowing that wherever I go, she’s with me. I’ll need that.”
Ian says his wife had many sayings, but one sticks out in this most trying time.
“She always followed through on stuff. One of her mottoes was, ‘If I say something, I’m going to do it.’ I just want to honor that,” he said.
Nina’s 21-year-old son is also home with the family. They have not figured out funeral plans yet.
One neighbor told WCCO that Nina was the single most-popular person in the neighborhood.