Shonda Gay Zeigel Cortez |

Shonda Gay Zeigel Cortez

Shonda Gay Zeigel Cortez, 52, died May 13, 2008, peacefully in Carbondale, from complications of breast cancer.Shonda was born Sept. 4, 1955, in Boulder, to Alan and Laura Zeigel. She graduated from Boulder High School in 1973, and from the University of Texas at Austin in 1976 with a bachelor of arts in Latin American Studies. She majored in Spanish and minored in art history. She and Ed Cortez met in college and were married Dec. 20, 1975. Shonda discovered a love of teaching in 1995, when she began working as a bilingual teachers’ aide at Basalt Elementary School. 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 shared their lives. She enjoyed fiber arts, especially knitting; gardening; and had a passion for reading.She is survived by her husband of 33 years; parents; sister Désha (Rick) Davis of Edmonds, Wash.; brother Brad (Nancy) Zeigel of Carbondale; and her cherished nephews and nieces Ian and Mollie Davis and Megan, Arick and Alli Zeigel.In lieu of flowers, contributions can be made 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 Colorado Animal Rescue, 2801 114 Road, Glenwood Springs, CO 81601.Shonda’s funeral service will be held on Wednesday, May 21, at 5 p.m. at St. Mary’s of The Crown Catholic Church 0395 White Hill Road in Carbondale.

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