Kirsten Westhoven

April 27, 1970 - September 04, 2014 

Kirsten Westhoven

April 27, 1970 - September 04, 2014 

Obituary for Kirsten Westhoven

My beloved wife and best friend; and PJ’s and the Fur Kids mom, Kirsten Westhoven crossed the Rainbow Bridge on Sept. 4.

Her love of animals began at an early age while growing up in South Amboy and Middletown. This passion led to a career in animal care and training after graduating from Mater Dei High School in 1988.

Dogs brought Kirsten and me together more than two decades ago after being introduced by another dog person, Chris Ott. One of our first dates was at the Ocean County Mall for Santa photos with her Dalmatians.

We wed on Nov. 12, 1994 at St. Mary’s Church. We ditched the limo for a Mustang convertible as the getaway car to the reception. The theme was Dalmatian black and white featuring bottles of Dog Perignon, which we said could be found in the finest water bowls.

Last year, Kir gave us the greatest gift imaginable when our son, PJ, was born on Sept. 11. She would do anything for what we called our ‘miracle baby’ and was a great mother.

Kirsten loved music, the louder the better, especially the Goo Goo Dolls. I lost count of how many times we have seen them live. We were just at Goo Goo Dolls concert last month. In December 2011 she got to meet and greet Johnny Rzeznik and rest of band, that was a highlight for her during my year-long deployment to Guantanamo Bay, Cuba with the New Jersey National Guard.

A baby blanket given to her and PJ from Abby Constance was inscribed with “I want to wake up where you are” the lyrics from “Slide” by the Goo Goo Dolls. That blanket was one of her most cherished gifts.

Kirsten loved to drive, it was her way to think and relax. If you happened to be in the left lane doing the speed limit you might get a rear mirror full of Kirsten’s car with the “Bite Me” magnet on the front hood.

And she could drive. In 2012, we drove stock cars at Pocono raceway. She reached 130 m.p.h. and was ecstatic. That “need for speed” fueled her passion for NASCAR. Whether it was from the stands in Daytona, Dover, or Martinsville or in front of our TV, she screamed to cheer the drivers on.

Kir’s other passions were books, from Stephen King to veterinary level volumes on canine genetics and health. She loved to share her knowledge of canine health and behavior with everyone. Whelping litters of puppies was a joyous time for her.

I also fondly remember how happy she was when we got to swim with dolphins at Discovery Cove several years ago. There are just so many glorious and magical times it is hard to write then all down.

She is missed and forever loved by her parents, Bill and Barbara Ellison; and brother, Scott Ellison.

If you would like to celebrate Kirsten’s life, we request in lieu of flowers please donate to the Tony Stewart Foundation. Kirsten was an off the charts fan of “Smoke” based partly on his driving style and drive to win as well as his values and passion to help children and animals.
Visit www. to donate in Kirsten’s name.

We also encourage you to support the organization that takes care of New Jersey’s National Guard soldiers and airmen; and their families: The National Guard State Family Readiness Council.
Donation information is available at: or mail to NGSFRC, PO Box 5692, Trenton, NJ 08638

Thank you for all your thoughts and prayers during this difficult time.

We love you all,
Kryn, PJ and; the Border Collie pack, Skid, Boost, Torque and Zoom

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