S: Chelsea Phanton
BC: Sunset at Pajaro Dunes, December 25,2011
FC: Chelsea | A book for Elijah about his Mom
1: Chelsea Megan Phanton | Chelsea, was born on January 28. 1991. Here is Grandma Susie holding her. Grandpa Frank is below. As you can see, your mother had beautiful big blue eyes. She was bright and curious. | Eli, This is a book for you, about your Mom...
2: Eli, The first time I met your mother Chelsea, she was about two years old, and she had the cutest smile with big blue eyes and blond curls all over her head. She was one of the cutest little girls I had ever seen.... I hadn't seen Chelsea in years, and then all the women in the family got together to celebrate your mom being pregnant with you. What a fun time. She was a great Mom who loved you so much. -Lynn & Matt Smith | baby Chelsea | Many friends and family members contributed to writing this book . . .
3: Eli, I loved your mom with every ounce of my being. I will never ever stop loving her. Chelsea was a very happy and easy going baby. She got more difficult in her mid-ones. She remained so throughout most of her life. - Susie Phanton
4: Forrest, Joey & Chelsea
5: Elijah, Your mom, my sister, was truly a light that couldn't be turned off. She was always so positive. She loved you more than anything and will forever watch over you. | Pray to her and trust she's watching over you. She is such an amazing, beautiful woman. I love you Big Uncle Joe Phanton | Forrest Joe Chelsea
6: Creative | Eli, Chelsea was my cousin. She was 6 years older than me. I always looked up to her and I admired her as a kid. I thought she was cool, and always fun to be around. I remember making collages using magazine pictures with her for hours. She was so creative. Your mom really was an outstanding woman. -Doug Schowengerdt | Dress-up girls
7: Fun! | Dear Eli, Chelsea was SO SMART - OMG! I can say that I got to help her learn two things... We had fun as I gave group swimming lessons at our backyard pool. I also taught her how to play Blackjack. She took to it fast. I would have liked to take her to Vegas! -Martha Kaufeldt | I remember Chelsea as a quiet child. She always had a smile for everyone. -Sue Finnegan | artistic, smart, playful
8: on the go
9: Dearest Eli, Your mother was tenacious and determined. One year, your Uncle Forrest was given a 2-wheeled bike for his birthday. During the party, while Uncle Forrest was having fun, your mom was teaching herself to ride his new bike. Before the night was over, she'd mastered it! I enjoyed watching her progress. XOX, Your Great Auntie Megan
10: Chelsea in 4th grade: -You inspired me to be creative, and artist and a writer. -You braided hair really well and liked doing these zig-zag parts. -We went to Yosemite, Big Basin & Angel's Island together in S.F. -Although you were quiet and shy in the classroom, I appreciated your calm energy. Love, Josie P.S. I loved making you laugh! | Elijah, Your mom and my daughter were the same age and went to school together. We tried to get her to join Girl Scouts, but she would not have it. She was too adventuresome. She needed to be with the Boy Scouts!! Your mom is very special! -Diana S.
11: Dear Elijah, Our family knew your mom for many years. She used to come to our house every Monday night at 7p.m. with your Uncle Forrest when he started Cub Scouts. Your mom won the archery contest at the Boy Scout Summer Camp - Camp Pico Blanco on the Little Sur River! She got a special award that summer. We enjoyed all our Cub Scout adventures with your mom. We will treasure our memories with her. -Mark, Bonnie, Alex & Nick Surber.
12: Your mom and I were rockstars, cowboys, ponies, power rangers, deep sea divers and princesses all in the same day. She gave you the power to do all those things and she is already proud of you. Keelin
13: like father, Like daughter | I remember Frank telling us ghost stories in the back yard. Chelsea and I screamed! -Alison Maupin | Music Lovers
14: Hi Eli! I am so sorry you did not have enough time to spend with your Mom. But please know that she loved you so much & you made the last 18 months of her life wonderful. I love you & can't wait to see what you do! Katie Schowengerdt | When I first met Chelsea, she was kind of shy. As I watched her grow up she opened up more with us. Chelsea came to Portland to visit, and wanted to attend Portland State University. We were so excited at the thought of having her so close to us. Chelsea was a beautiful young lady with a perfect, big smile and eyes as blue as the ocean! Jolie Phanton
16: Jacob! | Eli Your Mom was the most hardworking and artistic person I know! Your Uncle Tio (Jacob)
17: Chelsea really loved taking care of your Uncle Jacob. She got plenty of practice, so she really knew how to take care of you, when you were born.
18: Andrea Keelin Chelsea | Chelsea liked the Boardwalk, dressing up, Cabbage Patch dolls, games, puzzles, books, animals and all kinds of fun with friends.
19: There were few times Chelsea didn't have a cause she was fighting for. Animal Rights, Anti-war, whatever it was, she was always passionate. She was always someone I could talk to. Chatting with Chelsea was never awkward. Even if we had little in common, she was a person you can relate to. I admired her passion. She carried it in a way few others could. (Enjoy your thereafter Chels) Taylor Davis
20: The last time I saw your Mom She was on her way out the door to go see friends. I was impressed by how beautiful and happy she looked. Her hair was short & sassy and she was radiating joy. Your mom was a kind and generous woman who was always pleasant. God bless, Megan Alisago | I remember Chelsea as a person with a desire to speak her mind and call out anything that seemed wrong to her. I remember her organizing a day of silence amongst everyone in school for those that couldn't speak for themselves: specifically Lesbians, Gays, and Bi-sexuals, but it was relevant for others as well. At that time, she was not speaking much herself and she was rather marginalized, But I am honored to have spent many days with her when she did speak her mind, with a beauty and courage I won't forget. For you, Eli, I hope you can carry on in her footsteps. Much love, Josh Clarke
21: Andrea & Chelsea | Eli, Your mother captivated me with her strength and her courage. She left me in awe with her beauty not only on the outside, but the beauty reflected in her soul where her love for you resided. She would never let us share her pain, only her warmth and her smile. She will always be my best friend as you will always be my Godson. Andrea Alheit
22: Chelsea, Our journey has been full of surprises. I'm glad that God chose you for me. A new life in Cali, and a partner to share the journey, your beauty is like a rose and your love is like a warm blanket on a cold night. My moments with you bring me peace and comfort. My heart finds it natural to long for you, when my mind wonders off. Your words and touch can heal me, u and E are the reason I'm living. At a park on a swing with u and Eli is my happy place. Too many places we haven't been, but raising our son in Santa Cruz is an epic win. And when I feel your kiss I know its from heaven. Forever & Always, All of my love 2 u, Saul Lopez | Saul
23: Celebrate Her Eternal Love Saul Eli Always Eli, You are loved! -Uncle Greg | Elijah Antonio Lopez 5-18-2010
24: Elijah, Chelsea was a very kind, loving spirit. She loved to smile and laugh. Bravest person I have ever met. Very mature for her age. When your dad and mom met, she was given the gift of life. You were the best light than happened in her life. You are the reason she exists. Blessing all of us, showing us there is light through the darkness. Appreciates life to the fullest, knows how to be real and enjoy the moment. Definition of strength through the powerful righteousness of love! Love, Donovan Koontz
25: Dear Eli, Your mother was so brilliant, creative, courageous and and inspiration to all of us. Thank God she was able to bring you into this world. Many blessings to you. Linda Bloombecker
26: When I heard that Chelsea wanted to be a balloon when she grew up, and her favorite color was purple, I felt compelled to get some purple balloons. Perhaps one of them should be set free.
27: Happy 1st Birthday, Eli! | . . . Chelsea was an exceptional mother in so many ways - her enthusiasm, her love, her pride, her joy. She wanted to be your mom forever. . . -Grandma Susie
28: Annual Christmas Party. Above: 2006. Chelsea is holding Jacob. Below: 2010, Chelsea holding Eli.
29: Susie with baby Chelsea | Susie with baby Eli | Chelsea Eli
30: Eli, I lost a parent young too - my advice is to ask questions about your mom and we will tell you!! Always ask. -Noel | Sometimes we mamas have the luxury of not knowing and appreciating the gift of each and every moment we have with our children. Chelsea never made that mistake with you . . . and wouldn't have even if she'd had another hundred years. You come from people who understand love . . . who know how brief and fleeting and how precious a gift it is to live your life entangled in the web that binds our hearts together. Your mama sewed more hopes and dreams for you than most people do in a lifetime. She'll be so proud of you. -Arin
32: Your mom was my only daughter. I knew her for almost 21 years. She was beautiful and special to me in so many ways. She loved to cook and eat healthy foods. She cared about fairness and had high values. She really was very bright and could have, and no doubt would have, studied and served the world somehow. Her life was relatively short, but you made it complete for her. she was so thrilled to have you and was an exceptional mother in so many ways- her enthusiasm, her love, her pride, her joy. She wanted to be you mom forever. She tried to stay alive just to have one more day with you. -Grandma Susie | Eli, I don’t know if you’ve heard that “the eyes are the windows to the soul”. With your mother, Chelsea, you could tell by looking in her eyes you were in the presence of a very powerful, aware, involved soul. She was much in love with life and was an outstanding human being. Your mom was the perfect traveling companion, as she was always open for spontaneously going off the beaten path and trying different things. We had great times on some back roads of Mexico and touring around Old Sacramento. (continued next column) | When it came time for you to be born, your mom was the happiest she had been in her whole life. She was so healthy, your entire birth took only a few hours and then she spent hardly any time in the hospital before bringing you home. We were all so happy to see you and you were our miracle baby. Your mother loved you more than anything and was a great mother to you. You were, and still are, a very loved little guy. Love, Grandpa Phanton
33: There are so many things I want to share with you about your mother, the most prominent of which being the amount of love she held for you throughout your life. I watched her raise you to the best of her abilities and resources. She was an amazing person to grow up with and I know for a fact she shaped the person who I am today. She made me stronger in thought and always challenged my morals and beliefs. We shared everything growing up together, including space and time. She was my closest friend and strongest supporter in my life and my journey towards happiness. I know that even though you only had a short time with her you felt her unfathomable love for you. Know that I am always here for you, my wonderful nephew Eli. Love, Uncle Forrest | Man is but a shadow of a dream. Even though over the last few years Chelsea and I weren't as close as we once were, she was always like family to me. We had a connection that went back so far that I knew I would always keep up with her in some way,shape or form. Chelsea's struggles and determination to continue following her passions despite her health problems have helped me put my own life into perspective. In honor of Chelsea, I will keep myself open to the possibilities of the universe and continue to seek joy in both the small and large things. And later this spring as I participate in my third Relay for Life I will do it with Chelsea in my heart. She was an amazing young woman and I am privileged for having known her. Love, Sarah Seniuk | Oh me oh my, so many great effin' memories and not enough space or brain cells or time. This lady made me feel so many things, most of which I've only felt around her. We had kid times and old kid times and real grown up times too. We skipped grades and classes together. all kinds of school-age stuff that barely fit two old souls. But adventures were always on order, and Chelsea was the one with enough sense to make it happen. We went to the top of the world, the bottom of the sea and up and down the entire West Coast together. I think one of my favorite thing is hearing Chelsea sing, as she knew all the words to all the best songs of the 1950's-1990's. (Don't bother listening to anything past 1999). She is the most organized ganja babe I ever met and neat-ass handwriting, too. I will never be on the level Chelsea was on when we were 13 and met. I love her very much. XO Cheyenne
34: Hi Eli, I am a friend of your grandma's. I watched how much love and caring and support your grandma gave to your mom throughout her life, especially the last years. Chelsea was a wonderful loving soul who came into life to live fully She would want the same for you. Know that she is always there. Call on her when you need help or are sad. She'll listen. Remember, it's all love. -Pat Hurley I've known Chelsea since she arrived with her mother Susie at Live Oak Elementary School..Watched her grow up to be a beautiful young woman with strength and courage. She was so amazing. She came my home presenting Cutco knives last April. She was so nervous, however presented those knives professionally and we bought the $1600 set right away! She was so happy and so were we. Thanks Chelsea, for showing us courage and strength. We will miss you forever. -Denise and Michael Shaw | Elijah, When your mom was about twelve, her Uncle Dave and I invited her to Ireland. Our only request was that she pack light so we could get around easily. Suffice to say, we had to get a mini-van to accommodate her luggage! Love you, Mari & David Chelsea came up to Portland, Oregon to visit Cheyenne and me just a couple of weeks after we moved there from Santa Cruz. Chelsea always brought with her so much fun-loving spirit and joy, and I so appreciated having her join us in Portland. Sincerely, Nick Guerrero | Eli- you beautiful little guy . . . Your mama was the 1st baby that I ever had fall asleep in my arms- it gave me so much happiness, and I remember it like it was yesterday! Love to you ALWAYS! You are a most loved child! XOXO Amee from Sonoma Chelsea was a beautiful young gal. This was way too soon for her to go to heaven. We loved her and she will always have a very special place in our family. Eli is a part of our family and we love him so much. May God take care of all of us. And he will. -Lee and Wendee
35: Elijah, Thinking of you. Praying for you. Wishing you peace.. Please know that you are in our thoughts and Prayers. Special Forces Brotherhood Motorcycle Club - Ft. Campbell Memories of Chelsea from the Roodes family: I remember when Chelsea was in Susie's K-3 class with Justine and the class did the "Under Water Clean Up Crew" and Brad helped to adapt it. I remember Chelsea and Justine hanging out in 3rd grade. I remember making her a diaper cake when she had her boy. I remember buying Cutco knives from her. And we will all remember her spirit forever. | Eli, I have been reading all the things people remember about your mom, and I can't believe that no one has mentioned her cooking! Cancer may have deterred her from going away to college, but it didn't stop her from pursuing her dream of becoming an organic vegetarian chef! She took a cooking course at Bauman College in Santa Cruz, not far from home. She practiced the her mad cooking skills on some of us lucky ones. Sooo good! Just ask your Dad. We used to have "Community Dinner" every week with four families, who I hope you will come to know as you grow older. Chelsea,Forrest & Jacob,Nick & Andrea Alheit, Michael & Sarah Seniuk, and my son Taylor Davis all grew up together. Whenever you visit Santa Cruz, we will include you in a community dinner so you will continue to know the rest of your Santa Cruz family! You are a part of us. We are here for you. Love always, -Laura Whitson | Beautiful, brilliant, courageous, creative, compassionate; Chelsea was all of this and more! A radiant ray of light, a shooting star. I am blessed to have known and spent time with her, and the memory of her inspires me to live life fully and freely with Love. - Michael
36: Eli, Your mom was/is gentle kind thoughtful beautiful and most of all Loving. May she live on through all of us, and especially you! Love from Kitty Dear Eli, The first time I saw Chelsea, she was about 2 years old. We were at the Santa Cruz boardwalk and she was riding the carousel. I wondered if there was something weird about me for thinking she was an extraordinarily beautiful child. Then I noticed that groups of people were stopping to look at her. They would stop and point and stare and gasp in awe. Her beauty and exuberance shined so brightly than strangers noticed it from a distance. She made the world more beautiful. | My first view of Chelsea was as a small girl. My last view of her was as a young woman. She had a strong spirit and a wonderful smile. What a quick wit and so "sharp". Chelsea was a beautiful person in so many ways. She lives on through her son- you! From a teacher at Live Oak School who knew her. -Jim Caton Your mother was one of my brightest math students. And she held everyone accountable for everything. She should have kicked college's butt. - Valerie Neer, Cypress HS Dear Eli, I was your mom's Spanish teacher in high school She was the best! Creative, smart, helpful, happy. I adored her. -Catherine Murray | Eli, I was your mom's 6th grade math teacher at Shoreline Middle School. She was by far one of my all time best and favorite and brightest and most hard-working students. I fully expected her to go to Stanford U. to be a rocket scientist. I hope you'll follow in her footsteps; make her proud. One memory I'll always cherish was when my son was born. She gave me the softest , most beautiful blanket for my new son and one of her cabbage patch dolls. I still have both. Your mom was amazing, Eli. I know how much she loved you-as I loved her. -Susan Toohey
37: Chelsea Megan Phanton Jan 28, 1991-Dec. 26, 2011 Resident of Santa Cruz Liked to be called Chelsea Megan Pony Dogwalker Grape Juice Lover Puddlesplasher when she was younger. Also liked to be called the president's daughter after Chelsea Clinton. She was comfortable wearing a cowboy hat with a fur coat and sneakers. Born in San Luis Obispo, CA, moved to Santa Cruz at the age of 1. Was a stand out athlete with the Live Oak Little League at first base and at bat. Entered a VW bug and Beanie Baby collection in the county fair. Graduated from Cypress High School two years early and was prepared to go to college in Portland, Oregon, at the age of 15. There were visions of becoming a journalist with National Geographic or Rolling Stone when lymphoma cruelly altered her course. She spent the last 6 years courageously battling this and related diseases. | During a period of remission, she became a Certified Organic Chef at Bauman College, and wanted to start a catering business called "Apple a Day Gourmet." During this time she was told there was no chance of becoming pregnant, and yet she brought a beautiful baby into the world, Elijah Antonio Lopez, her greatest joy. Her last few days were spent surrounded by family and friends at Pajaro Dunes where she relished watching Eli open his Christmas presents. Those who witnessed her suffering are relieved she has finally been set free to join those preceding her, her great-grandparents Fred and Laura Werder, Hen and Juanita Schowengerdt, Earl and Mary Outlaw, and Felix and Lorraine Phanton, as well as her grandfather Felix John Phanton. She leaves behind many friends and family including her partner, Saul Lopez and their son, Eli; her parents Frank and Susie Phanton; her brothers Joe, Forrest and | Jacob Phanton; her grandparents Abe and Sandy Schowengerdt, and Gloria Phanton; her aunts and uncles Greg and Megan Schowengerdt, David and Mari Schowengerdt and Angela Phanton; her cousins Katie and Doug Schowengerdt; and numerous other extended family members. She will be missed by dear friends too numerous to list but especially by Andrea and Nick Alheit, Anita Lively, Cheyenne McClain, Sita Johnson, Sarah and Michael Seniuk, Taylor Davis, Keelin McCormick and Eliot Burk. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to a college fund for Chelsea's son Eli. Checks should be payable to: Susie Phanton FBO Elijah Lopez, and mailed to 1100 38th Ave, Santa Cruz CA 95062. Services will be held on Saturday, December 31st at 2pm at St. Stephen's Lutheran Church, 2500 Soquel Avenue, Santa Cruz, CA 95062 -published on Jan 1, 2012 in the Santa Cruz Sentinel