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In Memory of Katherine Cristiani

Katherine CristianiKatherine Cristiani (1949-2011)

On March 31, 2011, the AGSR family lost one of its most dedicated and enthusiastic volunteers. Katherine Cristiani, 61, passed away at her home in The Hills, Texas, surrounded by her family. An international lawyer for Bank of America for 30 years, Katherine and her husband, Franklyn Prieskop, had lived all around the world, including San Francisco, London, Hong Kong, and Boston. They chose Austin, Texas, when they retired.

I was working a Meet & Greet in Round Rock in 2009 when Katherine approached me. She was interested in fostering. We stood in that noisy pet store and talked for a good 45 minutes about the pros and cons of fostering, about her German Shepherd Lainey, my dogs Hollie and Ruthie, and how they were the lights of our lives. I liked her instantly.

Katherine and Frank’s first foster out of the gate was a cruelty case from San Antonio, a dog named Kovar who came to them with a litany of issues, not the least of which was that he was about half his ideal weight. It took many months, but with love, medical assistance, and good food, Kovar (now Kobey) was transformed from an animal almost unrecognizable as a dog to a stunning example of the German Shepherd breed. Several other dogs followed in quick succession: Lucas, Magnum (who joined their family permanently in 2010), Miela (a Camp Wolfgang rescue), Xander, Jett (now Johnny), Hero (another neglect case with a host of medical issues), and most recently, the beautiful long-haired Champ. A wonderful trainer and pack leader in her own right, Katherine loved spending time with her resident and foster dogs – and nothing was ever too good for them. When she and Frank ate out, they generally chose restaurants where dogs were welcome, and the whole pack came along on their various adventures around town.

In addition to the time she dedicated to her dogs, Katherine was always available to help out AGSR in any way and was generous to a fault. Although quiet and dignified, she had a wonderful sense of humor, a huge laugh, and always seemed up for anything – whether it was driving an hour across town to participate in a fundraiser, bringing a dog to a Meet & Greet, or dressing up her own 105-lb. dog in human pajamas for an impromptu photo shoot. “Sure, why not?” she would say cheerfully to one of my many crazy appeals. Many times she and Frank would be in their car before we’d even gotten off the phone.

Through her actions as a volunteer and her generosity as a donor, Katherine Cristiani helped AGSR save countless dogs. Katherine is survived by her husband Franklyn Prieskop, daughters Lisa and Klair, and beloved German Shepherds Lainey (“The Benevolent Dictator”) and the impossibly photogenic Magnum.

“Katherine was a workaholic her entire life,” her husband Franklyn shared with me recently. “However, as she readily admitted to me on several occasions, she only began to live these last five years after she retired. The AGSR was a primary focus of this ‘new life’ and my only regret is that she did not have more time to devote to it.”

Katherine’s family asks that donations in her name be made to Austin German Shepherd Rescue, the cause dearest to her heart. Thank you, Katherine, from all of us at AGSR – two-legged and four-legged. We miss you.

Amy Gross


Donations in Memory of Katherine

Lisa Cristiani (In loving memory of Mom)
Alan Moore
Dianne Smith
Dennis Voss
Tiffany & Aaron Lorenzo
Maria & Clint Ferguson
Harold Ellis
Mike Rahimian
Joel Jimenez
Don & Laura Burkley
Mr. Bill Goynes for his extremely generous donation in memory of Katherine Cristiani for her love for Johnny and so many others
Liz Coccia
Austin German Shepherd Meetup -- "In honor of our friend and member, Katherine Cristiani"
Michael Brandl & Sona Hardikar
Ron Ober and Lora Lynn Davis
Jim and Johnny Heidelberg

Last Update : 11/02/2013
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