Sascha Franzel, 19, of Honolulu, Steamboat Springs and Fort Collins, and a junior at Colorado State University, passed away Sept. 10, 2011, in Fort Collins from a severe asthma attack.
Sascha was an avid Steamboat skier since age 2. She skied every winter since 1992 at the Kids Vacation Center in Steamboat Springs and at the Billy Kidd Performance Center. Most recently she was a ski instructor at KVC teaching 2- to 4-year-olds to ski. During the summers, starting at age 7, she attended Perry-Mansfield Performing Arts School and Camp.
Sascha loved to sing, dance and ski, and she developed these passions in Steamboat, her second home. She often was seen with Billy Kidd for his 1 p.m. run. Kidd, whom she called Uncle Billy, was one of her close friends.
Sascha wanted to become a pediatric craneofacial surgeon and had volunteered at Kapiolani Medical Center in Honolulu, where she transported patients from the emergency room and worked with the preemies. She also shadowed plastic surgeons performing clef palate and microsia surgeries on children. She wanted all children to smile with a beautiful smile. While many teenagers made social plans for the weekends, Sascha wanted to help at the Children’s Hospital.
Sascha was a true giver, an angel of light for many. She filled every room she entered with her beautiful, big laughter, blonde bouncy curls and sparkling green eyes. Nobody could be sad around her. Since a very young age, Sascha volunteered as a greeter for the Special Olympics, sang at events for the American Cancer Society, participated in Relay For Life and was a Girl Scout and a volunteer at Kapiolani Medical Center. During her senior year, she collected more than 1,000 aloha shirts and T-shirts to send to the soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan, for which she was recognized by the Army’s 2-25th Stryker Brigade at Schofield Barracks, Hawaii.
Sascha graduated from Mid-Pacific Institute in Honolulu as an arts certificate student. She performed in numerous plays and musicals and was a member of the Diamond Head Theatre Shooting Stars. Her friends at CSU considered her the fierce voice of the unheard. She defended every group that needed a stronger voice. She was able to make every person feel better, she made everybody laugh and she would never tolerate discrimination of any group. Even as a heterosexual woman, she was an ally of the lesbian, gay and transgender communities and gave that group strength and inspiration. She helped foreign students with their English skills and disabled students with transportation issues.
Sascha was a gift to every person who knew her and filled many lives with new meaning. Sascha received a lot of love, and she immediately turned around and gave it back.
Sascha was the treasurer of the board of Chabad of Northern Colorado in Fort Collins, where she raised funds to ensure all Jewish children could celebrate the upcoming Jewish holidays. Rabbi Gorelik, her inspiration in the Jewish faith (whom she also inspired and of whom she was so proud), told many funny stories reflective of her great sense of humor and reflected on how excited she was about her upcoming trip to Israel this winter and about Shabbat 200 in November, which will be dedicated to her memory at CSU.
The Sascha Julia Franzel Memorial Fund is being created to fund her dearest causes. Her parents, David and Sonia Franzel, will fund expenses so all contributions can go directly to the charities. Her friends have established an email address for people to send photos and thoughts. The address is remembering
The monument unveiling ceremony for Sascha is scheduled for Nov. 1 at Rosehill Jewish Cemetery in Commerce City. A celebration of her life will be held later this winter atop Lower Valley View, her favorite run. For questions regarding her memorial foundation, email email@example.com.