Taken Too Young.
I lost a friend this week. She had Lupus but in the end, it was a blood disease (unrelated to her Lupus) that took her life. She was 47.
Christine Stoddart was (I can’t get used to using past tense) one of the strongest, most generous, caring people that I know. She lived her life large. She was fearless. I think she had no regrets. She always said that she knew she would die young and wanted to get the most out of every day. And she did. She was a great skier and an incredible golfer. She was always the first person to buy a round of drinks. She had an incredible smile and the most beautiful blue eyes. Her favorite color was blue. She loved her family. She loved her friends.
In June of 2008 she married her husband Glen who she met on a ski trip to Jackson Hole. I was lucky enough to attend and photograph their wedding in Yellowstone Park. She moved to Vail, CO where Glen lived to start their life together.
When I last spoke to Christine, about 3 or 4 weeks ago, she sounded happy. She and Glen had moved into a new home, she had a job that she liked and lived in a place that she loved. The only things missing were the friends and family she left behind in New York. But living in a ski town, she knew that the distance wouldn’t prevent her from seeing her friends. She had opened her home to her friends in the past and was already planning how we’d all come out to visit to ski with her in March.
She was a good friend who brought light and humor into the lives of those she touched. I will miss her dearly. The world will be a bit dimmer without her.
Keeping her Memory Alive
Christine was an incredible athlete stemming back to high school, where she was awarded the Gold Key Award in her senior year. This prestigious NYSPHASS Award is presented to athletes who have at the end of their high school careers, participated in intramurals, varsity and junior varsity sports and demonstrate leadership skills.
Her family has established an organization, the Friends of Christine Stoddart, to keep her memory alive. The organization will raise money to establish a scholarship fund, and help refurbish the girls’ team locker room at her former high school, Earl L. Vandermeulen High School in Port Jefferson, NY. Donations can be sent to:
Friends of Christine Stoddart
c/o Susan R. Mickel, Chase Bank, 120 Main Street, Port Jefferson, NY 11777