Krista Quintana passed away on May 9, 2023, at the age of 34, while in the loving care of her husband, Kenny Quintana, at the Stonehenge of Springville nursing facility. She fought a valiant fight against cancer for almost 3 years. Krista was a loving wife, daughter, sister, aunt, granddaughter, niece, cousin and friend to countless who knew her. Her sparkling smile, her high energy for life and sincere, heart-felt caring for all around her made her beloved to everyone who knew her. Most of all, she was a true follower of her Savior, Jesus Christ, and lived to follow His example throughout her life. She was an active member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
Krista grew up in Fort Collins, Colorado. She was the eldest of the Blanchard children. She loved being the big sister and was very responsible for her age. Krista was a delightful child with a quick laugh and zest for life. Throughout her life, her wide, dimpled smile was one of her most captivating characteristics. Her long, thick hair was another impressive characteristic. After her dearest friend, Merissa Kushnak, passed away from cancer at the age of 7, Krista vowed to donate her hair every time it grew at least 12 inches (roughly every 18 months) to “Locks of Love”. She always kept this promise, with the final donation being just before her final round of chemotherapy. She donated over 12 feet of hair during her lifetime. Despite chemo, she never lost her hair, for which she was grateful.
Krista had many talents and interests. She excelled in all academic areas, but reading, writing and music were her passions. She was a voracious reader, reading through many teen and adult books while still in grade school. She never stopped reading. She started writing her own books while in high school. She has published 2 books with another 10 manuscripts in various stages of completion at the time of her passing.
One significant talent was music. She learned to play the piano at a young age, and used this talent throughout her life. She loved to sing and participated in choirs for many years. The family always knew when Krista arrived home because the door would burst open and she would be singing at the top of her lungs, whatever song had been playing in the car when she parked it. She also loved theatre, but preferred to be involved with set design and stage crew rather than be on stage.
Krista had a strong, early interest in geology, with a focus on rocks and minerals. She studied a college textbook at the age of 8-9 as she amassed a very large collection of rocks and classified each one with all the technical terms appropriate to identify each one and filed each accordingly.
Krista and her family developed a deep love for Nauvoo, Illinois, as they participated in the Nauvoo Pageant for 4 years as members of the family cast. Krista returned to Nauvoo often through the years to relive memories and feel the amazing spirit of Nauvoo.
Krista loved to bake and developed an amazing ability to make pies. Every year from an early age, she made several pies for her favorite holiday, Thanksgiving. It was common for her to make 10-12 pies each Thanksgiving. As an adult, she chose to celebrate Thanksgiving more than once each year. Many friends and family members enjoyed her baking. Later she learned to bake and decorate elaborate cakes, including wedding cakes, for family and friends.
Krista loved to capture stories and pictures for family history. As examples, she typed up her great-grandfather’s extensive life history, adding pictures and making it available electronically for the entire family. She also made family picture calendars for her parents and siblings each year.
Krista decided at the age of 5, that she was going to be a geriatric nurse and she never deviated from this goal. She worked as a nurse in a wide variety of areas including geriatrics, hospice, oncology, med/surg, short term rehab, step-down ICU cardiac and Director of Nursing. She loved working with patients and had an amazing ability to work with those with whom most others had difficulty communicating.
To receive her nursing training, Krista enrolled in the international nursing program at Saint Louis University – Madrid Campus, in Spain. Once Krista arrived, she quickly became involved with Young Single Adults in Barrio 5 (5th ward) in Madrid. She coordinated the activities and encouraged members of JAS (young single adults) to come to Institute and church meetings. She was always very happy to see the Madrid Temple when she traveled to institute. She enjoyed being in institute because she learned more of the gospel of Jesus Christ and had a wonderful time with her church friends.
It was during this time that she met the love of her life, Kenny Guillermo Quintana Suarez. Kenny spoke no English, and Krista’s Spanish was very limited, and yet they connected in a way that built an amazing friendship. They fell in love while learning to dance the tango for a Young Single Adult church dance program. Kenny taught Krista to speak Spanish, and later when they moved to the USA, she helped him learn English. Their marriage was a pleasant mix of both languages, cultures and much love.
Krista and Kenny were engaged in December, 2008. After a long and frustrating process to enable Kenny to immigrate to the USA, they were married in the Logan Temple on June 27, 2009. Her happiness knew no bounds on her wedding day as she finally married the love of her life, for eternity.
Krista and Kenny moved to Saint Louis, Missouri, to allow her to finish her nursing education while he focused on learning English. Krista graduated with her nursing degree in May, 2011. She then worked as a nurse in Missouri, Idaho, and Utah as Kenny pursued his electrical engineering degree and began his career.
No matter how busy she was, Krista pushed herself to try new things. Kenny was always very supportive, encouraging her to do things she felt she couldn’t do. She loved to travel, throw parties, and bake. She taught herself to sew quilts and embroider and completed quilts for family members including for her lost babies. Krista was an active member of the “Rexy Writers” book writing group in Rexburg, Idaho, training many budding authors to start, and supporting more accomplished writers with her keen editing skills.
Kenny and Krista often worked to bring people together, making friendships and relationships the highest priority for themselves as well as encouraging relationships between others. Many felt the benefit of these bridges of friendship created through Krista and Kenny’s efforts.
Krista and Kenny had a strong desire to have a family, but after years of unsuccessful IVF, they found their hopes were halted with the discovery of Krista’s cancer.
Krista is survived by her husband, Kenny; siblings, Natalie (Steve) Schraedel, Allison (Jeff) Moody, Kalee (Jordan) Hepworth, Spencer (Shannon) Blanchard; parents, Terry and Trish Blanchard; parents-in-law, Guillermo and Miriam Quintana; siblings-in-law, Gustavo (Cindy) Quintana and Ronny (Delia) Quintana; grandparents, Wayne and Vivian Blanchard and grandfather-in-law, Ciro Suarez.
Krista was preceded in death by their 4 tiny babies, Amelia, Seth, Christopher and Nicolas, to whom she is undoubtedly giving much love and attention now.
The service for Krista Quintana will be held on Saturday, May 20, 2023, at 11:00 AM in the Pacific Drive 1st Ward chapel, 688 West 500 North American Fork, Utah. A viewing will be held Friday, May 19, 2023, from 6:00-8:00 PM at Anderson & Sons Mortuary located in American Fork, 49 East 100 North. There will also be a viewing prior to the service at 9:45 AM. Please share a memory on Krista’s Tribute Wall at www.AndersonMortuary.com.
There will be a zoom broadcast of the funeral at: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/87157702609?pwd=MnpHc3lyTVUxUVhsSW91QkxBQ0FFdz09