Crash victim remembered as standout athlete

Published 10:50 am Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Dana Legried was a vibrant woman who spoke her feelings and watched out for others.

That’s only part of how the 38-year-old Austin woman will be remembered. Legried died Saturday in a motorcycle accident that injured her husband Paul.


“She was just so cute, always a bright, sunny smile,” her sister Jill Rickheim said. “That’s how everyone remembers her.”

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Dana was born and raised in Austin, the younger of two sisters. She was known as a standout athlete in school, even playing hockey with the boys team until about seventh or eighth grade.

“Growing up, she was quite a tomboy,” Rickheim said. According to Rickheim, Dana was so good she’d be the only one to score a goal at times, despite being small for her age. It wasn’t until things got a little rough that Dana’s mother Marian Matthews finally made her quit, supposedly because Dana came home one day with a bruise.

“I made her stop because they were starting to check,” Matthews said.

From there, Dana turned into a fantastic softball pitcher for Austin High School, starting at varsity for four years, being named all-conference for three years and all region for two years, with more than 40 wins to her record. Rickheim said former AHS softball coach, Ron Bergstrom, was like a father figure to Dana during her teenage years, as Dana’s father passed away when she was 13. Bergstrom told the family this week Dana was “a fiery competitor with a smile that could melt your heart,” according to Rickheim.

Dana attended Riverland Community College for a year after high school and worked for Weyerhaeuser for a time. She worked in the transportation department at Hormel Foods Corp. most recently, Rickheim said.

Aside from sports, one of Dana’s passions was animals. She was always taking in dogs that no one wanted, or dogs that were abused, to give them a good home, according to Rickheim.

Legried was noted for her love of sports.

“She always had just a big soft spot for dogs,” Rickheim said.

It was only over the past year or two that the Legrieds took up motorcycle riding, according to Rickheim, as it would be an activity Dana and Paul could do together.

Dana’s funeral is set for 11 a.m. Monday, Sept. 10, at Grace Lutheran Church in Austin, with visitation one hour before the funeral. She is survived by her mother, her sister, her brother Brad Matthews, her husband Paul, who is recovering from the accident, her son Trevor, and her ex-husband Brad White.

“She was really well-liked,” Rickheim said. “Dana was one of those people that you knew exactly where you stood.”