Sophia Rose Feldman, aged 15, of Los Alamos, unexpectedly passed away on September 28, 2019. She was with her parents at Los Alamos Medical Center, where staff worked assiduously to revive her – we cannot thank them enough for their valiant efforts.
Sophia was a bright and eloquent spirit in the world. As a student at Los Alamos High School, she was looking forward to singing in the Bel Canto choir, learning how to drive, entering upcoming speech and debate competitions, and trying to figure out what she wanted to do in the world.
She had her first-ever full-time, paying job during the summer with the Youth Conservation Corps and although she found it challenging, she did the hard work of hiking miles every day with tools in hand to extricate tree roots and build new hiking trails. She also had big plans for the money she saved in her first savings account! She perhaps loved dancing most of all and had started to take ballet and hip-hop classes again until a knee injury forced her to learn to “love” crutches.
Sophia was a happy child who loved to talk, read and be read to, listen to oral stories, play the piano, dance and sing. She loved musicals, especially American in Paris and Fiddler on the Roof; in fact, her pre-school teacher told us that she tried to get her classmates to play “Fiddler on the Roof” but couldn’t find anyone to play Tevye.
She had the great opportunity to live in Vienna, Austria, in grades 2-4, where she attended the Vienna International School, and was still able to keep in touch with friends from that time. While there, she did so many wonderful things, including making her first communion with the Vienna English-speaking community; forcing her mom to take her to Trinity College in Dublin to see the Book of Kells; petting a rat in Prague; hiking the Wien Wanderweg every fall; and doing a passion project on efforts to save the Amazon river dolphin, raising about $200 and working with a renowned scientist in the field.
Back in Los Alamos, she had to work hard to catch up her math skills with Ms. Mann at Chamisa; win second place in the elementary school speech competition in Grade 5 with an excerpt from Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s “I Have a Dream” speech; and enter robotics and electric car competitions with her GATE team.
She loved spending time with her brothers and amazing sisters-in-law in Washington, DC and wonderful uncles, aunts, and cousins in Texas and California, as well as her awesome grandparents, who drove all the way from Houston to Los Alamos to play musical-chairs-by-violin at her five-year birthday party (in spite of the snow).
She was passionate about many things, especially the idea that all human beings have equal rights and should be treated with dignity and respect and without judgement.
She had wonderful speech, acting, and debate mentors and encouragement from Ms. Richard at Chamisa, Ms. Bublitz at LAMS, and Ms. Batha at LAHS, and so many other wonderful teachers at all of her schools, including Ms. Sam and Mr. Mosier at Ponderosa Montessori, who so fed her young brain and spirit. She also was so lucky to have excellent piano (and life) instruction from Dr. Madeline Williamson; swim coaching from Coaches Linda and Maribeth; and dance instruction from Mr. Jonathan and Ms. Tina.
She found some wonderful friends along the way in both New Mexico and Austria and we treasure all of you, especially at this time. Her “auntie” Bernadette Tsosie of Grand Junction was also so important in her life and we will always treasure the time that they were able to spend together.
She is survived by her parents Alex Feldman and Julia Whitworth of Los Alamos; brothers and sisters Herb Allen and Sofia Hassander of Washington, DC; and Graham and Hannah Feldman of Bangkok, Thailand; grandparents Harriet and Gerry Payne of Boerne, TX; uncles Albert Feldman of Warrensburg, NY; Richard Whitworth (Wanda) of Harlingen, TX; and Sam Whitworth (Abby) of Austin, TX; aunts Elizabeth Whitworth and Cecilia Poole (Gordy) of Austin, TX; and aunt Barbara Hunt (Jeff) of Incline Village, NV; godfather Shin-Ho Wang of Salt Lake City; and 13 wonderful cousins in Texas and Lake Tahoe.
She was pre-deceased by grandparents Betty Pastellak, (Captain) Herb Feldman, and John Whitworth.
A Rosary/prayer service will be held this Thursday, October 3 at 7 p.m. at Immaculate Heart of Mary Catholic Church, Los Alamos, NM.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated this Friday, October 4, 2019, 10 a.m. at Immaculate Heart of Mary Catholic Church, followed by burial at Guaje Pines Cemetery, Los Alamos, NM.
Please share your stories and condolences on Sophia’s memorial page at: riverafamilyfuneralhome.com 1627 A Central Ave, Los Alamos, NM 87544, 505-663-6880.