Kristina Spears Hilkhuijsen May 18, 1963 – April 28, 2021
Kristina Spears, timeless beauty, fashionista, hilarious and playful, magnetic to everyone she met, adventurer, athletic, animal lover, wife, sister and daughter, died at age 57 on April 28, 2021. Her inner joy, sense of adventure and love for her many animals, shone through in all she did. There was rarely a day that passed that she couldn’t be found riding her horse, Rocky, in the Arizona desert near her farm. When she rode, she was never without her bright lipstick and fabulous cowgirl boots!
Kristina, was born in Red Bank, New Jersey to parents: Ingeborg (Inge) Roggenhofer Spears and Henry (Harry) Edward Spears. She lived on the Navesink River in Fair Haven, NJ until she was 11 years old.
In 1974, at the age of 11, the family moved to Colorado. Kristina had a natural sense of adventure. Colorado provided a wonderland of activities that Kristina embraced. She loved hiking, skiing, snow shoeing, horse riding and kayaking. She became a true Colorado Girl.
She graduated from Smoky Hill High School in Aurora, CO in 1981. Being very intelligent, she excelled in school and was an outstanding student. At Smoky Hill, she was a member of the German Club as well as a member of the flag squad her sophomore year, rifle squad her junior year and the pom squad her senior year. She then attended the University of Colorado (CU) in Boulder with a major in psychology. At CU, she was a member of the Delta Delta Delta Sorority.
With Kristina’s sense of adventure and wanderlust, in 1985, she joined Delta Airlines as an international flight attendant, given her ability to speak German well. She later joined SkyWest as a flight attendant. Her sense of adventure also lead her to other interesting jobs.
While with Delta Airlines, she transferred from her base in Atlanta, Georgia to Salt Lake City, Utah. In Utah, she met the love of her life and husband, Dennis Hilkhuijsen. They married in March 1997.
Her later years were spent with her devoted husband, Dennis, on their beloved farm, Bronze Creek Arabians, in the Phoenix area of Arizona. They would have many “children”, but not the human kind! Their lives were filled with dogs (especially her dachshund, Max!), cats, goats, parrots, chickens and of course, horses, a passion for both of them.
She lived the last 2 years in a memory care facility bravely fighting Frontotemporal Degeneration (FTD), a form of dementia. Still keeping her amazing sense of humor, she would play tricks on the care givers and became very close to them.
Kristina leaves behind many who loved her: Her husband; Dennis Hilkhuijsen of Apache Junction, AZ, sister; Gerda Spears of Denver, CO, half-sisters; Ingrid Spears of Inverness, FL and Suzanne Spears of Manhattan, NY and half-brother; Donald (Rita) Spears of Portland, OR. She also leaves behind nieces and nephews across the country, as well as cousins, aunts and uncles in Germany.
A Celebration of Life will be announced later this year to be held in Mesa, AZ.
Her family wishes to thank the care givers of Mariposa Point of Mesa, Trask Mobile Medical, Always Present Hospice and others who took such amazing care of our Kristina.
In lieu of flowers and gifts, please donate in her memory to The Association for Frontotemporal Degeneration (AFTD) www.theaftd.org.