Kristy Ann Straits-Tröster, 62, passed away on September 6, 2019, at Thompson Peak Medical Center, Scottsdale, AZ. Her husband, Alex, with whom she shared 31 wonderful years of love and adventure, and her niece Madison, raised by Kristy and Alex since she was 11 years old, were at her side when she began her last great journey to be with God.
Born in Akron, Ohio, Kristy was the daughter of Walter and Kathleen Straits and step-daughter of Ruth Straits. Having graduated with her doctorate in clinical psychology at the University of California – San Diego and San Diego State University, Kristy chose to dedicate her life’s work as a board-certified specialist clinical health psychologist to our veterans and to training the next generation of clinical psychologists. She selflessly served veterans through the Veterans Administration system for 25 years, most recently at the Carl T. Hayden Veterans’ Administration Medical Center in Phoenix. There, as section chief of health psychology, she established the Primary Care-Mental Health Integration Program and was instrumental in the creation of the fellowship training program in clinical psychology. When she retired due to her illness, the fellowship training program in health psychology was named in Kristy’s honor.
Travel, cooking, gardening, playing cards, crafts and photography were just some of the hobbies she enjoyed. Kristy always put family, friends, acquaintances (and sometimes even help-seeking strangers) ahead of hobbies, though she was in most radiant bliss when she was able to combine her love of people and hobbies by sharing her activities with others. Kristy always tended to the people, pets and plants she loved, guided by her motto “tend to the living beings and things first.” People remember Kristy as one of the most caring and warm people, her heart always open to others and new experiences. Her spirituality was infectious, much like her laughter and that mischievous glint in her eye in response to a private joke. At work she was an indomitable, passionate leader who had a knack for handling the most difficult situations with kindness, grace, and aplomb. Though faced with several tragedies during her too-short life, Kristy always rose to the top, coping with grace and charm. Her illness, too, was never to wear her down until its inevitable close. She expressed her happiness, gratitude and good fortune to have cherished and been blessed by so many close friendships, and several visits from her closest friends, including Deborah, Andie, Jeanne and Linda, who traveled long distances to help care for her at home during the last few weeks of earthly life. She enjoyed her friends and some truly great (but miserly) glasses of port and champagne while she could.
Kristy is survived by her husband, Dr. Alex Tröster, her niece and “daughter” Madison Straits, her step-mother Ruth Straits, her step-sister Karen Helton, her in-law family Christine, Nick, Razelle and Zachary Troester, numerous aunts and cousins. She was predeceased by her father Walter Straits, mother Kathleen Straits, brother Jeff Straits, and sister Janice Straits.
Private cremation will be followed by a memorial service for friends and family at Hansen Desert Hills Mortuary, 6500 E. Bell Road, Scottsdale, AZ 85254 on Saturday, September 21, 2019 at 11 am, reception immediately following.
Memorial donations may be made to:
Arizona Humane Society, online at //www.azhumane.org/get-involved/give-now/memorial-and-tribute-gifts/
or Barrow Neurological Foundation, online at //give.supportbarrow.org/fundraiser/2316226
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