Middleton, WI – Middleton Police Officer Katherine “Katie” Barrios died on April 25, following a two-year battle with an aggressive form of brain cancer.
Officer Barrios, 44, was preparing to go to work on Jan. 8, 2017, when she collapsed, according to a fundraising campaign established to assist with her medical expenses.
She was taken to the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where doctors discovered a large mass on her brain.
Officer Barrios underwent an eight-hour brain surgery the following day, and was subsequently diagnosed with Grade IV Glioblastoma, a “very aggressive” form of brain cancer, according to the fundraising page.
“Katie has been bravely fighting” the disease ever since, Middleton Police Chief Charles Foulke said in a Facebook post.
“It is with great sadness that I report the untimely death of Middleton Police Officer Katie Barrios from complications of Glioblastoma,” Chief Foulke wrote.
“She was our friend and an inspiration to us all in the way she fought her diagnosis and lived life to the fullest,” he said. “We will miss her.”
Officer Barrios began her 18-year law enforcement career in 2001, when she joined the Iowa County Sheriff’s Department, according to the fundraising page.
She later served the Mt. Horeb Police Department, as well as the Warminster Police Department in Pennsylvania, before she hired on at the Middleton Police Department in 2016.
Wisconsin Governor Tony Evers ordered that all flags be lowered to half-staff on the day of the veteran officer’s memorial service, WISC reported.
"I was saddened to hear about the loss of Katie Barrios," Evers told the news outlet on Monday. "Our deepest condolences go out to Officer Barrios’ family and friends during this difficult time."
“Katie was, and continues to be, an inspiration to us all,” her obituary read. “Katie’s family and friends will miss her infectious smile, positive attitude, and willingness to help others.”
Officer Barrios leaves behind her husband, Joe, as well as her adult son Cole, her 17-year old daughter, Samantha, her seven-year-old son, Joey, and her six-year-old daughter, Abigail, Chief Foulke said.
She is also survived by her daughter-in-law, parents, siblings, nieces, nephews, and many friends and extended family members, according to her obituary.
Officer Barrios will be laid to rest on Thursday.
Our thoughts and prayers are with the family of Middleton Police Officer Katherine “Katie” Barrios, both blood and blue. Thank you for your service.
Rest easy, hero. We’ll hold the line from here.