crystal anne netz arenivarEvery Saturday, Crystal Anne Netz Arenivar ventured into nature on a spiritual journey she called her "God walk." She collected heart rocks and took pictures of beautiful undisturbed creations in nature. She left the land better than she found it, returning from the river or the forest with bags of garbage she had removed. Crystal loved the Earth. She loved life.

Crystal, a woman who danced, taught, and walked through life, died on July 15, 2021 in Silver City, NM at the age of 38.

Crystal was born in Salt Lake City, Utah; however, she was raised in Pinos Altos, New Mexico. Starting at young age she faced many health challenges. Thus, began a struggle that would shape her life. It wasn't what challenges she faced, but how she faced them. Struggle so often reveals character, and it revealed in Crystal a fighting and loving spirit. She faced cancer with bravery and she fought to live. "She had a good deal of struggles," her husband Carlos Arenivar said, "but she was always positive and pushed forward. I always admired her zeal for life."

At eight years old, after beating cancer that started at age 3, she traveled around the world with her parents Ken and Peggy Netz. She visited New Zealand, Thailand, Fiji, Australia, and many parts of Europe. Thus, began a lifelong affinity for travel and other cultures. She traveled throughout her life, spending time in Spain and Mexico among others with her loved one.

As she grew up, one of her greatest passions was to dance. She'd studied classical ballet, ecstatic dancing, free movement, and other forms that she practiced anywhere she could, including her living room. She studied dance at NMSU before finishing her degree in kinesiology at WNMU. She taught dance to elementary school kids and danced with different groups throughout her life. To many, she was their favorite dance partner. "If it was dance, she was there," Carlos said.

She loved helping people and she treasured working with kids, both through dance or as an occupational therapy assistant. She was a gifted teacher with a special talent for developing close relationships with the students she tutored and taught. She taught Pilates at the Lotus Center and led programs like "Jump into Summer" to help kids stay active. She taught horseback riding. She often attended The Christian Faith Church gatherings and with them, she would go into the community to help where she could.

She rode her horses through the woods. She camped. She loved hot springs. She loved to garden, which she began doing with her grandmother, and she loved to go elk hunting with Carlos in the winter. She refurbished old furniture. She had friends of all ages. She loved the water. "She did a lot," her mother said. "A lot more than most people manage."

She loved her husband, Carlos Arenivar. "She was often late to places because she went with the flow and somehow it always worked out," Carlos said. Ken added, "She was late to everything except her wedding."

Crystal is survived by many, including her husband, Carlos Arenivar, her parents Ken and Peggy Netz, and many loving cousins, aunts and uncles, and friends who were tremendously meaningful to her and who she held in her heart.

"I love you my whole family," she said near the end of her life. "I love you so much. You shaped my life."

Think of her now and see that smile. Remember her grace and those eyes and be glad you knew her, loved her, and got to share this ride with her. And then smile back.

The memorial services for her will be held at a later date.