I first met Kris (right) in 1988 as neighbors. We became friends and spent almost 20 years doing weekend hikes, children’s soccer games, bridge, volunteer work and many outings. Throughout our friendship, we ran in many marathons and races together. Kris, a Zonta member since 1993, started including me in some informal Zonta meetings and projects, and I joined in 1997. So, we added Zonta meetings and events to our enjoyable time together.
In June 2005, Kris was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. It was a shock as she had recently retired and was only 56. She died on September 30, 2006, and I was devastated along with all of her many Zonta friends. Shortly after her death, I pulled out all my calendars to look up races and walks and calculated that we had walked 7,080 miles during our friendship. We did a lot of talking, planning and storytelling during those many miles. Kris was devoted to Zonta and our mission and many things I do now are with Kris in mind, and I miss my best friend.
I still remember Kris for her creativity, energy and enthusiasm for life. She packed more into one day than many people do in a week. Whether she was playing bridge or bunko, reading a book, watching the latest film or going to the theater, every day was a reason to celebrate. No occasion or person went unrecognized. Kris made everyone feel special. Of all the gifts she possessed, the one she most often shared was her gift of gab. She would strike up a conversation with any friendly face, especially if they spoke Spanish.
Zonta Club of Pikes Peak Area, USA, District 12