Christine (Chris) C. Woods de Rael, born April 10, 1946, passed away in Colorado on May 31, 2020.
Chris grew up in Santa Fe, New Mexico, where her family had settled for several generations. Chris met her husband of 51 years in Albuquerque, New Mexico and the couple relocated to Colorado in 1975 with their daughter, where they have remained since.
Chris obtained a B.S. in Psychology from Colorado State University and then an Ed.S in School Psychology from the University of Northern Colorado. She went on to become a nationally certified neuropsychologist specializing in working with juveniles. Chris was a School Psychologist for 28 years in the Sheridan, Jefferson County, and Denver Public School Districts, respectively.
Chris is survived by her husband James (Jim) Woods, daughter Kimberley Woods Vanselow, Son-in-law Jason Vanselow, sister Dolly Garcia, and several nieces and nephews
A celebration of life will be planned for the fall of 2020. Memorial donations may be made to the Rocky Mountain Children’s Law Center.
Chris was smart, beautiful, funny, and had an infinite capacity to find joy in life. She was truly the magic ingredient for our entire family. She was also fiercely loyal to her friends and family, and a tenacious advocate for all the kids she worked with throughout her career. She always seemed to be the “go to” person for questions or needs regarding “her kids” in all three school districts.
Chris was very proud of her family heritage in New Mexico. Her paternal grandfather, Don Gregorio Rael, was born in Santa Fe in 1876, and was a translator and printer for the daily Santa Fe newspaper, the Santa Fe New Mexican, which simultaneously printed a Spanish language edition, El Nuevo Mexicano. Don Gregorio also provided translation and printing services for Spanish language books and materials for libraries, book stalls and the state Capitol. Antonio Rael, one of Chris’ great-grandfathers, was a Union Soldier during the Civil War, and another great-grandfather, Juan Ortega, was a descendent of a group of Conquistadores who were killed by Apaches.
Chris loved movies, art, and was a voracious reader. She continued her study of psychology and neuropsychology even after retirement by reading the most up-to-date studies and books in the field, and she was also a huge fan of all types of fiction. There was always a stack of books next to her favorite chair where she read daily while sipping her afternoon coffee. She was a great cook; her masterpiece being her traditional New Mexican Christmas meal of posole (a type of hominy stew), along with her famous red chile (Hatch grown), blue corn enchiladas, and corn tortillas.
There is no one like Chris. It will be impossible for our family and friends to fill this huge void in our lives, but we have an endless supply of beautiful memories of a truly beautiful person.