Kristen Lee Brelsford (Kindelsperger), age 57, of Bainbridge Island, WA passed away on Friday, June 28, 2019 at Virginia Mason Medical Center in Seattle, WA. Kristen had very recently been diagnosed with late stage cancer and fought a courageous and gracious battle to the end of this life. She died the way she lived with grace, gratitude and an unparalleled kindness toward others. Kristen was a beloved wife, mother, daughter, sister, cousin, aunt, niece and friend to many. Kristen was married to Harry Matthew Brelsford on December 30, 1992 at Grace Lutheran Church in River Forest, IL. Their marriage was blessed with two children, Geoffrey Brelsford (born 1996) and Harry Brelsford (born 1998), the loves of her life.
Kristen Lee was born June 19, 1962 in Elmhurst, IL to Ronald David Kindelsperger and Barbara Ann (Huxhold) Kindelsperger. She lived in Elmhurst, IL and attended Immanuel Lutheran School, K-8 and York High School, graduating in 1980. Her childhood years were filled with happy, active family activities at church and home. Kristen loved swimming, water skiing, tennis, ice skating, bicycle riding and golfing with family and friends. She loved music and singing in church choirs. She loved to travel. As the youngest of three daughters, Kristen was often referred to as “the littlest angel.” She was!
Kristen attended the University of Denver 1980-1984, where she received her BSBA. She returned to the Chicago area after graduation and lived in Oak Park, IL, where she worked in banking and became a docent for Frank Lloyd Wright architectural tours in Oak Park, IL. She remained an active athlete and active in her church, Grace Lutheran River Forest. Kristen moved to Seattle, WA, when she became engaged to Harry Brelsford, whom she had met, while attending the University of Denver. After they were married, Kristen and Harry made their home in Queen Anne, Seattle and that is where their children were born.
Kristen Lee Brelsford arrived on Bainbridge Island, WA in 2000 with her husband, Harry, their two young sons, Geoffrey and Harry and two English Springer Spaniels, Brisker and Jaeger. A few years later, another English Springer Spaniel, Astro, would join them. Kristen was the daughter of a dentist and had the smile to prove it. A smile that was the gateway to her heart. A heart that loved God, her family, her community and life. Kristen could be seen making overnight snow forts with the boy scouts, working for the booster club and church groups, helping a neighbor or preparing a beautiful Christmas. She was a warm and friendly hostess and her Christmas jams are legendary. Whatever she was doing, Kristen was joyous! Anyone who has seen Kristen dive headfirst into a wave, knows that she was somehow more alive than the rest of us.
Adventuresome, to say the least, Kristen climbed mountains, summiting Mt. Rainier (twice), Denali summit 2006, Kilimanjaro summit 2007, Aconcagua, and just last summer, Kristen climbed several 14ers with her oldest son, Geoffrey. She actively hiked, camped and skied often with both her sons, who she inspirationally coached to each become Eagle Scouts. For one school year, Kristen and Harry hosted an exchange student from Germany, Max Popken, and he became a part of their active family life. Kristen battled the wind in a bike race in Cape Town and rode bicycles with her boys through the Netherlands. She ran marathons in beautiful places. Kristen and Harry had an Around the World trip to Europe, India, Singapore and Hong Kong. She cruised on the seas and hang glided off the cliff peaks of Rio de Janeiro. Kristen was filled with joy in dancing and singing to music and over the course of her life attended dozens of live music and artistic events. Family and fun were tenets of Kristen’s life, a life that was full and brimmed over to warm the hearts of those who knew and loved her.
Kristen was a person of deep faith, who was active in the sobriety movement and was a friend to many at the Island School, where she worked. During her illness, Kristen received hundreds of cards from family and friends in her life and community, writing about what she meant to them or how she had made a difference in their lives. Her life was a living example of one of her favorite Bible verses, 2 Timothy 1:7 – “for God did not give us a spirit of timidity but a spirit of power and love and self-control.”
Kristen is survived by her husband, Harry Brelsford, sons, Geoffrey Brelsford and Harry Brelsford; father, Ronald Kindelsperger, sisters, Karen (husband Robert) Hiden and Lauren (husband William) Noon; mother-in-law, Diane Brelsford; brothers-in-law Gregg (wife Puyong) Brelsford, Taylor (wife Terry) Brelsford, Jim (wife Lily) Brelsford; sister- in-law, Ginna Brelsford (Bob Herr), and many loving aunts, uncles, cousins, nieces and nephews. She is preceded in death by her much beloved mother, Barbara Ann Kindelsperger (2005).
A Celebration of Life will be held for Kristen at 4:00 pm Friday, July 26, 2019 at Grace Episcopal Church, 8595 NE Day Road, Bainbridge Island, WA 98110.
Interment of ashes will be at Evergreen Lutheran Church, Evergreen, CO later this summer. Arrangements are entrusted to Cook Family Funeral Home of Bainbridge Island.
Memorial contributions in Kristen Brelsford’s name may be made to:
Evergreen Lutheran Church
5980 County Hwy 73
Evergreen, CO 80439 evergreenlutheran.org
The Island School
8553 NE Day Road
Bainbridge Island, WA 98110 theislandschool.org
Grace Episcopal Church
8595 NE Day Road
Bainbridge Island, WA 98110