Shonda Gay Zeigel Cortez |

Shonda Gay Zeigel Cortez

Shonda, 52, died peacefully in Carbondale on Tuesday, May 13, 2008, from complications of breast cancer. She is survived by her husband, of 33 years, Ed Cortez, her parents Alan and Laura Zeigel of Denver, her sister and brother-in-law Desha and Rick Davis of Edmonds, Wash., her brother and sister-in-law Brad and Nancy Zeigel of Carbondale and her cherished nephews and nieces Ian and Mollie Davis and Megan, Arick, and Alli Zeigel.

Shonda was born in Boulder on Sept. 4, 1955. She graduated from Boulder High School in 1973 and from the University of Texas at Austin in 1976 with a B.A. in Latin American Studies. She majored in Spanish and minored in art history. She and Ed met in college and were married on Dec. 20, 1975.

Shonda discovered a love of teaching late in life when she began working as a bilingual teacher’s aide at Basalt Elementary School in 1995. She was studying for her teacher certification and had finished her first year as a second grade bilingual teacher at BES when she was diagnosed with advanced breast cancer in 1998. She later returned to the classroom as a special education aide at Carbondale Middle School. She also worked over a period of 10 years for a private animal shelter and animal welfare organization, the Progressive Animal Welfare Society in Lynnwood, Wash.

Shonda loved children and animals, including the dogs, cats, and guinea pigs with whom she and Ed have shared their lives. She enjoyed fiber arts”especially knitting”gardening and had a passion for reading.

In lieu of flowers, contributions can be made, if desired, to any favorite charity; especially local organizations dedicated to people or animals in need, such as Roaring Fork Hospice (1906 Blake Ave., Glenwood Springs, CO 81601), and CARE (Colorado Animal Rescue, 2801 County Road 114, Glenwood Springs, CO 81601.

A memorial service will be held at 5 p.m. Wednesday, May 21, at a location to be announced.

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