Known to close friends as "Kimba" passed away suddenly on July 7, 2009 at age 43. She is survived by her husband Pete Stefanisko; son Dylan and daughter Tessa. Kim was an incredible spirit and her smile could light up the world. Words are not enough to capture the sense of loss or even properly describe her; she saw the whole world as one big stray puppy and would help anyone at anytime. She was a source of strength and inspiration to those around her and will be loved forever. She was born in Van Nuys California to Claudia and Michael Ryan. As a baby, Kim was adopted by her aunt Lenni and uncle Don Ball, Jr., and she was raised in Los Gatos and San Jose as the beloved sister of Don Ball III of Sunol and brother Brandon Ball of Bremerton, Washington. Later, Kim's paternal grandmother, Beth Ryan offered Kim a home in Foster City. Kim graduated from Peninsula High School in San Mateo in 1984 and attended San Mateo College before joining her brother's software company as a financial analyst. Kim continued in the tech industry in San Jose until moving to Sonoma County in 1993 after she and Pete were married and son Dylan was born. Kim took some time away from work to raise her wonderful children, but eventually took a job in sales and marketing for Kendall Jackson Winery. Kim loved working in the wine industry and was always known for the personal and gentle touch she had with customers. She was happiest in her current job at Paul Hobbs Wines. Kim's greatest joy was spending time with her children and her husband. She loved reading, listening to Dave Mathews, cooking and recently working in the garden. She was nearly unbeatable in scrabble and cherished playing cards with all of her extended family. She joined Karate with her daughter Tessa and achieved the rank of purple belt. As it always was with Kim, the people she met there were far more important than her rank. There will be a viewing from 1:00-3:00 p.m. on Wednesday, July 15, followed by the service at 3:00 p.m. at Eggen and Lance Mortuary at 1540 Mendocino Ave. in Santa Rosa. A private Family interment will be held. In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be made to the Kim Stefanisko Memorial Fund at any Exchange Bank or to the charity of your choice- Kim would be happy to know that she can still help others. Arrangements under the care of`~ SANTA ROSA MORTUARY EGGEN & LANCE CHAPEL, 545-3747.
Published in Press Democrat from July 14 to July 15, 2009