Cristina Suzanne Herdman passed away gently at home in the company of family and friends on June 10, 2014. Her passing came at age 52, twenty-one months after being diagnosed with brain cancer. She leaves behind two children Aldo (12) and Willa (10) and her devoted husband, Chris Behrens. Her father Richard Herdman, and siblings Harry Herdman and Cindy Herdman-Sandels also survive her.
Cristina was born in 1962 in New Jersey, raised in Portland, Oregon, and graduated with a degree in International Relations from the University of Colorado in Boulder. Throughout her life, her adventurous spirit, humor and unique sense of style brought joy and fun to everyone around her.
Cristina's early career included work at the Haight-Ashbury Drug Detox Clinic in San Francisco and at the Real Food Company and Varsity Theatre in Cupertino, California. She returned to the Northwest to work at Seattle's Community House Mental Health and the University of Washington HIV Intervention and Prescription Drug Program.
After working in Washington, DC at Advocates for Youth, Cristina found her professional home at PATH in Seattle, where she worked for 12 years. She spent five years on the Alliance for Cervical Cancer team, focusing on cervical cancer screening and treatment in developing countries. For seven years on the MACEPA team, she contributed to advances in malaria control. Her work took her to Geneva, Zambia, Ethiopia, Kenya, Ghana, Costa Rica, Jamaica, Thailand and India.
Most of all, Cristina cherished her family. She brought wisdom, generosity and grace to everyone she touched, especially her children who were her greatest joy and passion. Through her journey with cancer she continued to be amazingly present, while creating beauty, loving life and bringing community together. Her friends and family will miss her flare for cooking delicious meals, her enthusiasm for being in the outdoors, and her warm, open heart.
Memorial gifts can be sent:
For support of Cristina's children Aldo and Willa's education to:
The Avery and Willa Behrens Trust - Acct. #172119
Salal Credit Union
PO Box 19340
Seattle, WA 98109-1340
Or to The Aldo Leopold Foundation www.aldoleopold.org
Published in The Seattle Times from June 22 to June 23, 2014