Kristin Lynn Hoppa

April 24, 1986September 24, 2020

Kristin Lynn Hoppa-Barrios, 34, of Waco, Texas, formerly St. Joseph, Missouri, passed away on Thursday, September 24, 2020 at 1:03 A.M. at Community Howard Regional, Kokomo, Indiana. She was born on April 24, 1986 in Kansas City, Missouri, to Jim and Nancy (Navinsky) Hoppa. Kristin married Kirk Barrios on May 24, 2015 in Lawrence, Kansas, who survives. They were expecting their first child in April 2021.

Kristin graduated from the University of Kansas, earning bachelor degrees in Journalism and English. For the past 5 years, she was a well-respected public safety reporter for the Waco Tribune-Herald and recognized by her colleagues as a hard-working, tenacious journalist. She was known for being first on the scene of a developing story and had a gentle and inquisitive demeanor when conducting interviews. Kristin won several awards throughout her career. She was most proud of receiving recognition as a “Star Investigative Reporter of the Year” in 2020 and major contributor to the Waco Tribune-Herald’s 2018 recognition as APME Newspaper of the Year. Her compassionate and loving nature in both her professional and personal life made a tremendous lasting impact on thousands of people in her short life. Kristin loved her family, friends, and most of all, her dogs – which she referred to as her “fur babies”. Kristin’s Shar Pei, Imus, was the joy of her life. He was one of the oldest living Shar-Peis at 14 years old before he passed away earlier this year. She also enjoyed traveling, musicals, visiting zoos and baking. Kristin was an avid fan of both the Kansas City Royals and Kansas Jayhawks. She was a proud aunt to her niece and nephew, Annette and Everette Hoppa.

She is survived by her loving husband, Kirk; her parents, Jim and Nancy Hoppa; brother, Pat (Sarah) Hoppa; maternal grandmother, Helen Navinsky; aunts, Marilyn (Chip) Culpepper and Janet Kilty; uncle, Ron (Barbara) Hoppa; parents-in-law, Ali (Brenda) Barrios; sister-in-law, Kaity Barrios; brother-in-law, Gabriel Barrios; and niece and nephew, Annette and Everette Hoppa.

In lieu of flowers, the family suggests that donations be made to KU Endowment in Kristin Hoppa’s name in support of a student fund for the School of Journalism to be established. Send donations to KU Endowment, P.O. Box 928, Lawrence, KS 66044 or give online at

There will be a Celebration of Life for Kristin at 2:00 P.M. Friday, October 23, 2020 at Oread Hotel, Ninth Floor Nest, 1200 Oread Ave., Lawrence, KS, 66044. Attendees are encouraged to wear Red/ Blue/ Jayhawk attire.


  • Celebration of Life

    Friday, October 23, 2020


Kristin Lynn Hoppa

have a memory or condolence to add?

Bill Brinton

October 1, 2020

I am the Emergency Management Director of Buchanan County Missouri. In 2010, there was a major flood in Lewis & Clark Village in SW Buchanan County. At that time, I did not know Kristin very well. I met her down there and we did a story about the flooding. She wanted to take a picture of the damage to a mobile home near where we were standing. She was dressed in her work attire and was wearing flats, I did everything I could to talk her out of walking over in the mud and goo! She made it about 10 feet and suddenly, found herself sitting in the mud! It took every bit of self control to keep from laughing, but as every emergency responder, I went to her rescue. Every time, I drive by that location, I still see her setting in the mud. After that we became very good friends! She was the type of reporter, that should be an example to all! You could tell her anything and trust that she would write the best story. Such a loss of a wonderful young woman. RIP my friend

Linda Carter

September 30, 2020

Nancy and Jim, I was so very very sorry to hear about Kristen. All of you are in my thoughts and prayers.

Ashley Huggins Bowlin

September 29, 2020

Jim, Nancy, Kirk and Family -

I have heard Kristin's wonderful giggle in my head on repeat since I received news of her passing. I will always remember her as the energetic, funny, happy, outgoing, intelligent likable little girl with the page-boy hair cut who grew up to retain all of the aforementioned attributes but also developed professional integrity, was highly respected by her peers, and deeply loved by her friends. I am so, so crushed at her passing and heartbroken for your loss of Kristin and the little one she was carrying.

Kristin and Kirk once saw Josh and me outside of Kauffman Stadium. I didn't see her, but she saw me, and the way she yelled my name and ran up to me was wonderful - I was so glad to see her! That was the last time I ever saw Kristin in person, smiling, laughing and giving me a hug. That is how I will always remember her.

I hope that knowing how very much Kristin was loved, and how much people are caring for you and loving all of you, both from near and far, during this time, brings you some small amount of peace. Neither she, nor any of you will be forgotten by any of us.

Greta Weaver

September 28, 2020

Nancy, Jim, Kirk and family, I am so sorry to hear of Kristin's passing. Sending up prayers for peace, comfort and strength for all of you.
I am stunned and so deeply saddened. I had kept in touch with Kristin from time to time and followed her move to Waco, and am so incredibly proud of her. I have so many fond memories of Kristin throughout the school years and of softball. She had a very bright light and was such a joy to be around, and that smile!! When she and Brittany were together, oh my goodness the laughter.

Mona Huggins

September 28, 2020

Nancy, Jim, Patrick and family, and Kirk,
Our hearts are broken. Kristin was so much a part of our lives during grade school. We loved her! She was so sharp-witted and could "take it" as well as "dish it out!" My daddy called her "Little Hopper ." She was so funny and good-natured.
Our family has prayed for all of you over and over again. We know Kristin's soul is in heaven, but we still are so very sad. We will never forget her.
Our deepest sympathies and condolences to each of you.