Even after her diagnosis with a rare illness, Emily Krob brimmed with hope and energy. She came to her CrossFit gym regularly, showing up to a competition in a wheelchair to cheer on friends when she was not well enough to participate.
"She told everybody she was going to be OK, and a lot of times she comforted us during her yearlong battle with cancer," said Kelsie Grygelko, a friend. "It obviously should have been the other way around."
She added: "Even when she was struggling with cancer, you would have never known."
Krob died Oct. 29 of rhabdomyosarcoma, a type of cancer that develops in the skeletal muscles. She was 38.
Her death came a few days shy of her 14-year anniversary as an officer at the Brooklyn Park Police Department, where she had been a field training officer and before that, a school resource officer in Champlin.
"She had a quick wit and a great sense of humor, as well as a ton of care and compassion for the community," said Lt. Toni Weinbeck.
She noted that after Krob's diagnosis, the department's fundraising sales of yellow ribbon pins with her badge number led to an outpouring of love and support from students and the many members of the community whom she had helped.
Krob was born and raised in Brooklyn Park. She attended the University of North Dakota before returning to serve in her hometown.
Krob's intense cancer treatments kept her out of work over the last year, Weinbeck said. But others recalled how outside of work, she displayed as much energy as ever — showing a willingness to fight and smiling through her final days.
"She always had a go-get-it, go-do-it kind of attitude," said her sister, Leigha Haywood. "Nothing slowed [her] down. … And when she was diagnosed a year ago, that drive, that passion never stopped."
Krob was fond of Haywood's children, frequently talking to her 10-year-old niece, Norah, on Snapchat and buying her a series of gold-colored Converse shoes. She was also close to her 15-year-old nephew, Owen.
"She never wanted her own — she just had her dogs — but she loved being an aunt," Haywood said.
Krob's siblings described her as a devoted "dog mom" to Griffin, a Great Dane, and ZZ Top, a mix. She volunteered at Secondhand Hounds and rescued stray and injured animals to take to a shelter.
"That was Emily's nature. She always put others before herself. … She was just selfless in helping others, and that was humans and animals," said her brother, Nicholas Haywood.
She was also, he said, an encyclopedia of music and movies. And she was the comedian of the family.
"It could be the grayest day, it could be the cloudiest day, but when she showed up she would make us laugh and could just brighten the room up with her smile," Haywood said.
Krob was everybody's biggest cheerleader, said Mike Simon, who befriended her at the gym.
"We would suffer together — the harder the workout, the better," Simon said. "She was a warrior at heart, whether it was in the gym or in life."
Krob wasn't well enough to compete with her workout friends this year. But Krob's athletic community rallied around her to raise money and show support for her after the cancer diagnosis. Grygelko recalled Krob giving her a hug near the end and saying, "This is what's supposed to happen and I'm going to be OK."
In addition to her siblings and niece and nephew, Krob is survived by her parents, Philip and Lorelei Haywood, and husband Jerry Krob. Services have been held.
Maya Rao • 612-710-5403