Friend launches fundraiser to help family who’s lost both parents
Kayla Wimer and Dennis Wimer Jr. are shown in the shadows with their children— back, from left: Elijah, Hunter and Randy; front: Hailey and Sky. Kayla was killed in a work-related ATV crash last month in Houston County. Photo courtesy Chelsey Hager
Sasha Giesler finds it unbelievable that tragedy could strike a family again in such a short period of time.
Giesler became best friends with Kayla Wimer-Wood about 10 years ago and even closer six years ago when she lost her husband, Dennis Wimer Jr., who suffered a brain injury after being critically hurt in a motorcycle crash. He survived the crash, but died several months later after falling and getting another brain injury.
“I was a huge support person to Kayla,” said Giesler, who grew up in Owatonna and now lives in Rochester. “She went through so much with Dennis, but she was ready to take on the world.”
Last month’s sudden and tragic loss of Wimer-Wood has left Giesler and many others heart broken. “Unbelievable” is the only way Giesler could describe the ATV crash that killed Wimer-Wood on July 22 while she was working for a tree company in Houston County.
“It just feels as if we are doing this again, exponentially worse,” Giesler said. “It’s unbelievable this would happen to the same family.”
Wimer-Wood leaves behind three children, ages 17, 15 and 12, as well as three step children.
To aid the children, Giesler has established a gofundme campaign hoping to raise $10,000. As of Monday, Giesler had already raised about $6,100. Anyone interested in donating can go to www.gofund.me/5e1fba57.
“People have been so generous… it’s amazing,” she said. “It will all go to the kids to help them with living expenses as well as school supplies and school clothes. Those kids are important to a lot of us. They are loved by a lot of people.”
It’s still unclear what happened in the crash where Wimer-Wood was working for Carr’s Tree Service of Ottertail, Minn. Minnesota OSHA is investigating the incident since it was a work-related fatality.
Wimer-Wood had been doing tree work for several years, according to Giesler.
“She was a beast,” Giesler said. “She was so proud that she could do all the tree service often better than a lot of men.”
Giesler said she will always remember Wimer-Wood for radiating beauty, positivity and happiness into the world. She found her to always focus on the good things in life.
“She was so positive and authentically happy,” Giesler said. “She walked into a room and could light up the room. She was the perfect example of love and dedication. The world would be better if we had more people like Kayla.”
Despite losing her husband, Wimer-Wood always continued to maintain her positivity, Giesler said. “She experienced hard times and didn’t experience a perfect life,” she added.
Giesler found “something so magical” between Wimer-Wood and Dennis Wimer Jr. “She didn’t leave his side. It was impressive the love they had for each other. The odds were stacked against them,” Giesler said.
Both Wimer-Wood and her late husband have been buried together at Sacred Heart Cemetery in Owatonna.
“They are together,” Giesler said. “It felt like a little peace in all of this.”
Kayla Wimer Fundraiser
• Fundraiser to aid family of Kayla Wimer
• Goal: $10,000
• Donate: www.gofund.me/5e1fba57