Kristina Trinka died September 3, 2013 at her home in Petaluma California, after a courageous three-year battle with mesothelioma, a rare form of cancer. She was 64. Kristina's love for people led her to a 30+-year career in hairstyling and her love for animals led to the co-founding and building of PyrsRus Great Pyrenees Kennel and to her ownership and management of the multi-service boarding and training kennel Patrick Canine Coastal Hills Resort. Born into a strong and proud Lithuanian family, Kristina migrated from Germany to America as a young child, spending her early years in Cicero, Illinois. After graduating Maria High School in Chicago, she went on to earn a BS in Biology from the University of Illinois at Chicago. She continued her love of science through Graduate studies in Genetics at the University of Chicago and then went on to teach high school science and biology in the inner city. After several trips to California, Kristina discovered the quaint town of Mill Valley and loved it so much she decided to move there in 1976. Her natural beauty and her vibrant spirit almost necessitated a try at acting and she was cast in several local plays. To further her artistic flair, Kristina learned to be a hair stylist and for over 30 years, she brought happiness and a touch of class to all of her dedicated clients. Even after her move from Mill Valley to Petaluma in 2001, many of those clients traveled hours not wanting to sever the great relationship they had built with her over the years. Her talent in hair styling coupled with her ability to make anyone feel special and important was the magic that drew people to her again and again. Besides her passion to help make people look their best, Kristina had a special love for animals. In 2001, she and her husband, Roland, purchased Patrick Canine, a ninety-acre ranch property with an operating boarding and training kennel. Tina named the ranch "PyrStar Ranch", which is located in the coastal hill country of western Sonoma. Founded in 1989 in Mill Valley, PyrsRus Great Pyrenees relocated to new ranch and there she continued to specialize in being a championship breeder of Great Pyrenees, a gentle, majestic dog that has historically been used for guarding livestock. Kristina helped to raise many Pyrenees pups who were later sold to loving families. Both Roland and Kristina took great pride in their animals and often participated in dog shows throughout the country. Kristina personally groomed her dogs and would proudly lead them onto the stage and often straight to the winner's circle. Her passion for breeding and showing Great Pyrenees, led to creation and campaigning of many Champions. These beautiful animals also fulfilled an important role in her local community. Kristina loved to share her pets through Animals for Health, an organization that brought joy to patients in nursing homes and hospitals. Kristina's infectious smile was just as welcomed as the furry creatures that accompanied her. PyrsRus Great Pyrenees and Patrick Canine continue to thrive as a prominent and special place for Pyrs and for all breeds. Kristina loved the outdoors and she was just as comfortable skiing the slopes at Lake Tahoe as she was riding a jet ski on a choppy lake. Along with her husband, she was a certified diver. Her travels took her to many beautiful places including Europe, the Middle East, the Caribbean Islands in the East and West, and most importantly a visit with her mother Natalie to their homeland, Lithuania. Kristina leaves behind Roland, her business partner and loving husband of twenty-four years, her devoted mother, Natalie Sodeika, and her beloved brother Marius. Her radiant smile and giving nature will truly be missed by her wonderful and supportive extended family including aunts, uncles, cousins, nieces, nephews, and dear friends. A memorial service will be held in Chicago.
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Published Online in the Press Democrat from Sept. 22 to Sept. 25, 2013