Kirsten Marie Farnsworth, 32, died surrounded by family at home in Lafayette, Colorado on May 30, 2018. She was in peace and comfort after six years with cancer.

Kirsten was born on April 23,1986 in Findlay, Ohio, to Karl and Hege Farnsworth, the second of five children. She was a beautiful, bright and delightful child with incredible creativity, intellect and talent. She was adored by her family near home and in Norway. The family moved as she grew up to Germany, Connecticut, Kentucky, and Oklahoma. Kirsten later settled in Colorado as an adult.

Kirsten earned undergraduate and graduate degrees in classical piano from the University of Oklahoma and the University of Colorado. She played beautifully solo or with family or friends,  at home and in recitals. She played often as member of the Orquesta Tipica Natural Tango at the Mercury Cafe in Denver. She had a wide circle of musician friends, many of whom played to comfort her in hospice.

In September 2012, Kirsten married the “love of her life” Dan Kuester and was diagnosed two months later. Their marriage was shadowed by cancer, yet they lived and loved fully. Dan has been a source of incredible support and strength to Kirsten. They built a life together, traveling outdoors, advancing in their careers, and adopting their adorable rescue pup, Sputnik.

Her dear friend wrote “the list of words I could use to describe Kirsten is long – adventurous, magnanimus, loyal, creative, talented, ambitious, passionate, tenacious, friendly, and kind, just to name a few. She was a high achiever and a great mind – a musician, an artist, and a writer.”

In 2015, during aggressive cancer treatment, Kirsten earned a master’s degree in business administration from the University of Colorado. She thrived and was hired soon after by Medtronic. She last served as Strategic Planning Principal. A manager reflected that she “brought an intellectual curiosity, a passion for improving healthcare, and kind hearted approach to our group and will be dearly missed.”

Kirsten is survived by her husband, Dan Kuester, parents Hege and Karl Farnsworth, sister Katrina Crosby (Daniel) and children Charlotte, Liam, and Lola, brothers Erik, Jonathan (McKenzie) and Jacob, parents-in-law, Ed and Nancy Kuester, sisters-in-law Nicolee and Annalise Kuester, grandparents Darlene and Will van Werkhoven and Bodil and Joel Nadler, and beloved rescue pup Sputnik.

Through suffering in illness, she found joy, strength, and resolve. She said,

“It’s easy to have appreciation of those big moments in life: the anniversaries, closing on a house, graduation, landing that job you’ve always wanted, traveling to remote and gorgeous places. The past five years I have developed perhaps an even deeper appreciation for those beautiful “small” moments: drinking tea by the fire with Dan and our pup, listening to records, enjoying a tasty meal, sharing a good long laugh with a friend, playing the piano, taking in a good view, etc. You can choose to find joy amidst the fatigue, sickness, and endless doctor visits. You can choose to continue living, setting goals, making plans, and making memories. And I have. I’m viewing my five years as a success. And, I am beating cancer, regardless of whether I end up beating cancer.”

As she learned these lessons she focused on bonding closely with loved ones, travel, and writing on her experiences in her book, Incurable. She poured her heart and soul into this last work until her last week in hospice. The first printed copy arrived in her hands two hours before she passed.

Speaking of her friends and family in her book, she wrote:

“I trust more strongly than ever now that these relationships will continue. They are what this life is about. These relationships and our souls will absolutely continue to exist in a place of love and beauty.”

Consider donating in Kirsten’s name to Livestrong, Cleaning for a Reason, or First Descents, which provided support during her illness.

Kirsten’s public memorial will be Saturday, June 23rd, 1:00pm, at the Mercury Cafe, 2199 California Street, Denver. Kirsten asked for a non-funeral, and suggested wearing “whatever colors you like… what makes you feel fancy and festive.”

18 thoughts on “Kirsten Marie Farnsworth”

  1. I’m so sorry for your family’s lost. Kristen seems to have been a beautiful person. Cheryl

  2. There will be other places for birds to sing…?
    Such an unimaginable loss and yet such an amazing legacy of love, laughter, and life…
    Relieved that she is no longer in pain and that she is at peace?

    So sorry for your family and Dan—holding onto to faith and promise of life and family and relationships after death.

  3. It was an honor to work with such a beautiful, kind and humble person. Kirsten will be remembered for her generosity and passion for life.
    My condolences to her family and loved ones.

  4. My condolences to Dan and to all her family.

    Por que sus alas tan cruel quemo la vida!
    Por que esa mueca siniestra de la suerte…

  5. My heart goes out to everyone affected by Kirstin’s passing. We each have only one goal in life: to live the fullest life we can during the time we are here – no matter the actual amount of time. By this and any standard, Kirstin fulfilled her goal and in the end, that’s all any of us can do. Kirstin loved my story about the celery people when she was a toddler and that was enough to win my heart. She’s a unique and rare person and will be missed. Love to Karl, Hege, families and friends.

  6. We are deeply saddened to hear the news of Kirsten’s passing. It’s always so hard to say goodbye. Losing your Beloved is a major life transition that rocks the very foundation of your soul. Sometimes it hurts so bad that all you want to do is sleep waiting for dreams to arrive when her essence trips in, washes over you and leads you to the loveliest moments shared. Our tears pool with yours. Jim & Mary Filla

  7. What an incredible person. I’m a friend of Katrina’s and it was wonderful to read about her sister’s beautiful life. It sounds like she will not be easily forgotten. My most heartfelt condolences to all of Kirsten’s family and loved ones during this difficult time. ♥️

  8. So much love to u Hege & your family & to Dan. She is such a beautiful daughter. My heartfelt sadness for this trial that you all endured. May our Creator wrap you in his arms of love and comfort until you meet again. ??

  9. So terribly sorry for your loss and prayers of comfort going up for the whole family.

  10. Kirsten,
    I was given a copy of “Incurable”. It truly touched my heart. The zest for life, while facing a massive barrier that cancer put in your way and dealing with the less than helpful medical and insurance , was amazing to say the least. You say you were *angry*, but I read about a person who was so much better than the anger. You highlight a better way to *live* and thank you for trying to explain that path to me.

    I am sorry that we didn’t know each other better, many of the other posts here are so indicative of the wonderful person you continue to show us how to be. God blessed us with your presence here

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