Don Strel
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Don Strel



Don Strel, 86, died Oct. 13, 2020 from myelogenous leukemia and dementia.

Don was born in San Francisco, California to Lorraine (McManus) and Orest Streltzoff and grew up near Golden Gate Park. He graduated from San Francisco State College, served in the Army at Fort Benjamin Harris in Indiana and met his first wife, Sheila Sullivan. He returned to San Francisco to teach art at San Francisco State and then became a professor of art and design at Northern Illinois University. He also taught at the Chicago Art Institute, working with high school and college students in a program that combined outdoor adventure with art.

Don and Sheila divorced and Sheila moved to Santa Fe. Don followed to be close to his young children and to become director of the Museum of Fine Art. He met and married Anne Hillerman, who was an arts reporter at The New Mexican. Don left the museum and worked in public relations and photography for Eight Northern Pueblos, Ski Santa Fe, and many other clients. An expert skier, Don organized New Mexico's Jimmie Heuga Ski Express, raising close to a million dollars for multiple sclerosis research.

Don used his skill as a photographer and designer to work with Anne on books including Gardens of Santa Fe and Tony Hillerman's Landscape. Don had several exhibits, including a one-man show at the Santa Fe Public library in 2017. His photos were featured in many newspapers and magazines. In addition to photography, Don loved classic cars, nice shirts, vanilla milk shakes, and lively conversation with his friends.

In addition to Anne, Don is also survived by his former wife Sheila and by his brother Robert Streltzoff (wife Chris), daughter Carrie Reinecke (Craig), sons Kevin Strel (Gisele Delanoy), Sean Strel, and Brandon Strel, and grandchildren Skyler Reinecke, Taran Reinecke, Dylan Strel and Emmarie Hawkstrel. The family will celebrate Don's passion for life, his wonderful sense of humor, and his love of good food and good company when it is safe for us all to be together. We thank Pam Ulibarri, Maria Velasquez, Tanya Stephenson, Dr. Julie Martinez, Dr. Tudor Ocneanu, Dr. Scott Herbert and the staffs at Compassus and La Luz hospices and The Retreat in Rio Rancho for their care.

If you would like to honor Don, in lieu of flowers please consider a donation to the Adaptive Sports Program

www.adaptivesports

program.org/



or non-profits that benefit people with dementia or cancer.


To Plant Memorial Trees in memory, please visit our Sympathy Store.
Published in Albuquerque Journal on Oct. 16, 2020.
MEMORIAL EVENTS
No memorial events are currently scheduled. To offer your sympathy during this difficult time, you can now have memorial trees planted in a National Forest in memory of your loved one.
Memories & Condolences
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12 entries
October 22, 2020
Dear Anne and Brandon ... I am so very sorry to hear of Don's passing. He was definitely one of the warmest and most gracious men that I was honored to know, always so comfortable to be with, always the welcoming host. My heartfelt and deep condolences to you and to all of Don's family who loved him and will miss him, as will we all. RIP dear man.
Alexis Strong
Friend
October 21, 2020
I first met Don and Anne at a car show in Eldorado. Have to admit it was meeting Anne Hillerman that resonated with me because of her dad's books, but I have a brother who is crazy about old cars so I do appreciate them. After that, it was often a book-related event when I would see Don and Anne again. Don has a great legacy in New Mexico and beyond. Memories forever.
Susan Sheldon
Acquaintance
October 19, 2020
I only met Don on a few occasions, including a book signing in Farmington with Anne and a brunch (large but late breakfast, actually) at La Fonda with him and Anne, at least a decade ago. But I liked him immediately and remember him as a warm and intelligent man. I'm familiar with his photography in the book, Tony Hillerman's Landscape, which showcases his talent as an artist and photographer. I extend my warmest condolences to Anne, and to her and Don's family and friends. Know that he will be remembered by so many of us as a friend and very talented person. He will be missed.
Tom Scanlan
Friend
October 19, 2020
I'm so sorry, Anne. My thoughts and prayers are with you.
Rich Curtin
Acquaintance
October 19, 2020
So sorry to hear of Don's passing. I have so many memories of skiing with Don, on the backside of the ski area, him introducing me to legensds of skiing and his positive attitude regardless of circumtances. . Truly a special man who will be long remembered.
Bruce Adams
Friend
October 17, 2020
Anne, I'm so sorry for your loss. I met Don many years ago at Santa Fe Spa and considered him my first photography mentor. He was always patient when I showed him my photographs, was gracious with his critiques, and gave me excellent advice about what camera to purchase. Many thanks, Don!
Pattie Freeman
Acquaintance
October 17, 2020
My condolences to families of Don. He was a nice guy. My son Robbie always talked highly of him. I remember Don always at the basketball games of St. Michael's high school taking photographs of Robbie's and Brandon's games. It was always a pleasure to talk to Don...
Robert R. Gallegos
Robert R. Gallegos
Acquaintance
October 16, 2020
We are saddened by Don's death and send our love and sympathy to Anne, as well as the whole family. He was a lovely person and we are grateful to have known him.
Carol Ingells and Robert Spitz
Friend
October 16, 2020
Nothing but Respect and Love for you my friends
James A. LaCour
Friend
October 16, 2020
I send my condolences to Anne and all the family. I am honored to have known him, even just a little bit.
Nadine Frances Stafford
Friend
October 16, 2020
Dear Anne: Ken and I send such love to you and your family on your loss of dear Don. What a joyful person he was, with talents unlimited.
Ruth Frazier
Friend
October 16, 2020
Anne: So sorry to hear of Don's death. We offer our sympathies.
Dale and Donna Schrage
Neighbor
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