The official student newspaper of University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire since 1923.

The Spectator

The official student newspaper of University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire since 1923.

The Spectator

The official student newspaper of University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire since 1923.

The Spectator

Student dies of meningitis

Submitted photo

Robert Nelson remembers looking at the empty seat where junior Amber Krenz usually sat on Tuesday afternoon and wondering where she was.

Nelson, a professor in the allied health professions department and coordinator of the environmental and public health program, said he will always remember that empty seat and the woman he knew so well who sat there.

Krenz, a 22-year-old environmental and public health major, died Tuesday afternoon at Sacred Heart Hospital from meningitis after becoming sick Monday.

“It’s been a terrible shock for everyone,” Nelson said, who said he will also remember how she “always had a smiling face.”

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Her mother, Shiela Wright of Eau Claire, said her daughter was always happy and positive throughout her life.

“She gave her life to everyone,” Wright said. “She never complained.”

Krenz, who lived at home with her mother and 9-year-old brother, made sure she was there to help her younger brother get on the school bus and would re-arrange her schedule to baby-sit him, Wilson said.

Krenz loved the outdoors, Wright said. She liked to hike and camp, and adored all animals.

Wright said her daughter came home after class Monday, which was unusual because she usually exercised at that time.

Krenz took a nap, and had to be taken to the emergency room because of a high temperature that night.

She was very active in her major. Nelson was Krenz’s adviser, instructor in four classes and he supervised her two internships. Krenz spent a summer working for the Cook County (Minn.) Health Department, and another summer working for the state health department in Eau Claire.

Much of her work was spent testing water and inspecting areas like swimming pools and campgrounds, Nelson said.

“She had so much going for her,” Nelson said.

Krenz had planned to study abroad next semester in Lismore, Australia.

She was an active member in the Student National Environmental Health Association, a group of students who were very close. Only 30 students are in the major, Nelson said.

Visitation will be from 5 to 8 p.m. today at Lenmark-Gomsrud Funeral Home, 814 First Ave. The funeral will be at 2 p.m. Friday at Our Savior’s Lutheran Church, 1310 Main St.

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Student dies of meningitis