Patricia Kristal

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Patricia Kristal

Patricia Carol Burnette Wing Kristal, 82, resident of Rio Rancho, beloved wife, mother, and Bubbe, passed away surrounded by family on June 29, 2017. She will always be remembered for her warm heart, her love of animals, and her sense of humor.

She was born in Chicago, IL, on May 9, 1935, to John Gordon Burnette and Carolyn Elizabeth McLay, and graduated from St. Scholastica High School in 1953. She eventually married and moved to New Mexico where, over the years, she became the kind-hearted matriarch of a sprawling, diverse family in which she took great pride.

In the early 1970s, Pat enrolled in the nursing program at the College of Santa Fe and became a member of its first graduating class in 1975. Shortly after graduation, she went to work at Los Alamos Medical Center, where she brought her skills and compassion to patients in nearly every department, from ICU to labor and delivery. She also spent time at the Lab in Los Alamos, and as a visiting nurse in the rural communities of northern New Mexico. In the early 1990s, she moved to Albuquerque and continued to broaden her nursing experience with clinical work at Presbyterian, after which she moved into jobs in claims evaluation and code compliance. Even after she retired, Pat continued to work part-time, giving immunizations in a pediatric clinic.

Women's issues became an important focus for Pat later in her life. She attended protest marches and peace vigils in and around Albuquerque. She was very proud that all four of her daughters participated in the Women's March on Washington in January, 2017.

Pat loved animals - everything from snakes to mice (some of which she brought home from the lab at nursing school) to fish and cats and dogs. Her companion animals at the time of her death were her regal cat Timmy and her sweet rescue dog, Honey (aka "Puppy"). Both Timmy and Puppy have now found loving homes with Pat's children.

Music was one of Pat's passions. She particularly enjoyed classical music and opera - especially the works of Verdi, Puccini and Mozart. Though never a musician herself, she encouraged all of her children to take up instruments. Her home was always filled with music.

Pat is survived by her husband, Richard Kristal; her children, Mary Anchondo (Billy); Catherine Schleimer (Steve); Anne Wing Matier (Steve); Maggie Wing (Patrick); and James P. Wing (Veronica); as well as her friend and the father of her children, James D. Wing. She is also survived by her two step-children, Michael Kristal (Sheryl); and Barbara Ellsworth (Donny); as well as 20 grandchildren and five great-grandchildren. She was preceded in death by her brother, James K. Burnette, and her sister, Verla Jo Wilson, and is survived by her brother, John Gordon Burnette, Jr., of Herndon, VA.

A private burial service was held at Fairview Memorial Park in Albuquerque with Rabbi Jack Shlachter presiding.

In honor of Pat's love for animals and her passion for social justice issues, the family asks that donations be made to Animal Humane or the Southern Poverty Law Center.

Published in Albuquerque Journal on Dec. 31, 2017