Born: December 17, 1987
Death: October 7, 2011
Hobbies: Medical School
December 17, 1987 - October 7, 2011
In celebration and memory of our beloved daughter, sister and friend, we announce the unexpected passing of Princess (Dr.) Natalie Ashton Kjar. Born in San Antonio on December 17, 1987, she was a talented violinist since age 4, an enthusiastic equestrian, a loving mother to Sophie the yellow Labrador, a boot-boastin’ Texas rose and most recently a brilliantly successful student at the University of Texas Medical School at Houston where she passed in her sleep on Friday October 7, 2011.
She is survived by her father and mother, David and Terri, her sister Danielle Kjar Priest and husband Ben, her sister Rachel Kjar Brough and husband Kevin, and Godbrother Jeffrey Costello and wife Rebecca, along with numerous extended family.
Natalie was always a dedicated and successful student, as well as an involved community volunteer. During her early years, she attended Camelot Elementary and Garner Middle School, where she was an involved student council member and volunteer. She began studying violin at age four. She participated in UIL solo competition beginning in kindergarten and continued through her high school years. She later became the concertmistress of the Youth Orchestra of San Antonio, debuting as a soloist with the orchestra at age 13.
It was also during these years that she developed her love of all things princess, specifically Cinderella, and an amazing amount of childhood photos attest to her admiration and extensive collection. She also had an affinity for cats, specifically African cats and was an avid fan of Disney’s Lion King. Currently, she fell in love with all things from Disney’s Tangled.
Her next years were spent at MacArthur High School, where she was extremely active in the orchestra program. She was one of few freshmen to join the varsity orchestra where she remained for the next four years. She served as president of Orchestra Council, and was consistently awarded seats in District, Region, Area, and State orchestras, as well “Outstanding Soloist” recognition from UIL competition. She participated in numerous service-oriented organizations including National Honor Society, Peer-Assisted Learning Strategies volunteer tutor program (PALS), as well as volunteering with her peers in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints youth program. She excelled academically, graduating Summa Cum Laude and was the chosen Valedictorian commencement speaker of the class of 2006. She also honed her equestrian skills through various competitions and jumping events and was awarded several ribbons.
Natalie began studying at the University of North Texas on Orchestral Studies and Board of Regents academic scholarships. She continued to volunteer through the Institute of Women Association and as an Organic Chemistry Volunteer Discussion Group Leader. She served in and was later president of the Alpha Epsilon Delta Medical Professional Honor Society, and tutored music theory as a Supplemental Instructor. It was during this time that Natalie realized her desire to pursue a career as a doctor. She spent time shadowing various doctors, and particularly enjoyed her time with dermatologist Dr. Cynthia Harrington, who became her mentor and friend. It was Dr. Harrington’s kindness, talent, and dedication to her craft that inspired Natalie to pursue dermatology. She went on to change her degree plan to pre-medical studies. She graduated Summa Cum Laude with a bachelor’s degree in Biology in May 2010.
She began to realize her dreams of becoming a dermatologist with her acceptance to the University of Texas Medical School at Houston in the fall of 2010. In addition to mastering her demanding curriculum, she still found time to serve her community though Emergency Medicine Research Associates Program (EMRAP), as a member of Med Kids, as a volunteer with SIRE Houston Therapeutic Equestrian Center at Fort Bend, and served as president of the Dermatology Interest Group. She also served as a recruitment officer for the American Medical Association and Texas Medical Association in Houston, and participated in a variety of service projects with them.
In addition to her many achievements over her lifetime, Natalie’s most amazing qualities were her ability to discern the needs of others and then meet them with her loving-kindness. She had a natural gift for making those around her comfortable and putting them at ease. Her capacity for love knew no bounds, and thus she was a devoted and caring friend to numerous people throughout her life. She was the youngest in the inseparable Kjar girl trio, and adored and was adored by her sisters in bonds of deepest friendship and love throughout her life. She had a vibrant testimony of God and her Savior Jesus Christ. The last things typed on her computer were words of encouragement from God’s prophets and apostles. We knows she lives with Them now, and we will forever remember and cherish the time we had with her, and look forward to the day when we will see her again.
For those desiring, contributions in memory of Natalie may be made to the following:
Natalie Ashton Kjar Scholarship Fund
UT Health Medical School
P.O. Box 203366,
Houston, TX 77216-3366
In Memory of Natalie Kjar
1560 Sherman Avenue, Suite 870
Evanston, IL 60202
Friday October 14, 2011, 10:00 am
Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints