Cover photo for Kristina Joanne Esterheld's Obituary
Kristina Joanne Esterheld Profile Photo
1987 Kristina Joanne Esterheld 2023

Kristina Joanne Esterheld

August 29, 1987 — October 29, 2023

Denver, CO

Kristina Joanne Esterheld of Denver, Colorado died October 29, 2023, in Santa Fe, New Mexico, following injuries from an automobile accident that day. She was 36 years old. 


Kristina loved music and singing, cooking and baking, traveling, skiing and running, and time spent with friends and loved ones. She was passionate about good coffee and tea, proud of her Irish heritage, unafraid to speak her mind, and courageously committed to living life to the fullest.


After attending a science and technology high school, she went on to graduate with a civil engineering degree from the University of Maryland. She worked in the construction industry in the Washington D.C. area and later in Colorado, on projects that spanned the public, private, and nonprofit sectors. Kristina's brilliance and hard work earned the respect and admiration of her peers, and her last employer wrote, in a memorial post online, “She will be remembered for her contagious smile, welcoming warm energy, and her passion for everything she touched.” 


Kristina cared fiercely about the well-being of others – whether friends and family or those who were in need or suffering injustice. These core values led her to support the work of several organizations, including groups focused on service animals and animal welfare; LGBTQ rights; girls’ STEM education; and the needs of women and children who had been the victims of abuse, trafficking, and domestic violence.


Family was incredibly important to Kristina. She was preceded in death by her mother, Annette Esterheld, whose loss she felt keenly. She is survived by her father, Gerald Esterheld; brother Michael Esterheld and his wife Heather; sister Katherine Thomas and her husband Daniel; former husband, Robert Cooper; and her partner, Anthony Vaughan, along with loving aunts and uncles, one niece and three nephews.


Kristina also left behind her beloved Tibetan Mastiff, two cats, and many, many friends by whom she will be dearly missed. 


Although gone too soon, Kristina leaves behind a legacy of love, laughter, and exuberance to inspire others. Her smile and laugh instantly and invariably spread to those around her. Everywhere she went, she connected with people, made fast friends, and helped build strong communities. Her love for life and excitement for life’s possibilities will live on in the hearts of all who knew her, just as she lives on in the memories of those whose lives she touched.


To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Kristina Joanne Esterheld, please visit our flower store.


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