Erika Karen Kupfersberger

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Erika Karen Kupfersberger was born in Sarasota, FL, on April 15, 1978 and raised from infancy in Green Forest, AR, the daughter of Lin Wellford and Klaus Kupfersberger. She passed away Sunday, September 4, at the age of 33 after suffering a cerebral hemorrhage while attending the Burning Man Festival in Reno, NV.

Erika attended Green Forest High School, the Arkansas School for Math and Science, and Hendrix University. She moved to California in 2003 to pursue her interest in the wine industry. In 2010 she completed her exams to become a Certified Specialist of Wine.

Throughout her life, Erika forged many close friendships. People were drawn to her shining personality, her vibrant zest for life, her kind heart, and her gorgeous red hair. She was generous and thoughtful, with a taste for adventure, and a deep appreciation for great food, fine wine, and dear friends. She loved her family deeply. Her compassion for animals in need led her to foster a series of cats and kittens, and she could not pass by an animal in distress.

Despite moving away, she never lost her fondness for the Ozark Mountains, the small town where she grew up, and for the members of her church family at the United Methodist Church of Green Forest.

Erika leaves behind her parents; two sisters, Skye Pifer of Sarasota, FL and Kira Kupfersberger of Brooklyn, NY; her cherished nephew and niece, Cameron and Catelin Pifer, (who inherited red hair like her aunt). She also leaves her maternal grandmother, Nancy Wellford of Sarasota, FL; her aunt and uncle, Robin and Gordon Greeson, of Knoxville, TN. as well as their three daughters; her aunt Susan and uncle Philip Wellford of Kansas City; her uncle Eric Wellford of Atlanta, and her aunt Elisabeth Seaver of Miami, FL, along with a host of other relatives and friends.

In addition, she leaves the love of her life, Marshall Coffy, with whom she shared many wonderful times, including a joyous week at the festival.

It will not surprise anyone who knew her that Erika was on the organ donor registry, and that her tragic and untimely death will give new life and health to others.

There will be a celebration of Erika's life on Sunday, September 18th at 4:00 p.m. at The United Methodist Church in Green Forest. The family welcomes anyone whose life was touched by Erika, or who has a story, a memory or a photo to share, to come join us.

Memorial donations in her name may be made to the Carroll and Madison Public Library Foundation (Erika was an avid reader and was a frequent visitor at all three libraries in Carroll County), or to the Good Shepherd Animal Shelter in Eureka Springs, so that her devotion to animals in need might carry on.