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In Memory of Zina Lahr - 1990 - 2013 E-mail
Written by Charles   
Tuesday, 10 December 2013 06:52

On April 2 2013 a most unusual student joined me for class at The Animation Academy. She came all the way from Colorado to take my Character Design 1 class in Burbank, California. She was with us for two months.

Her name was Zina Lahr.

Zina was a remarkable and talented young lady. She dressed in aviator's head gear with goggles and had feathers streaming from her hair. She was such a gentle, kind and soft spoken soul you knew you were in the presence of someone very special every time you were with her. Someone so extraordinary she didn't seem to be from this earth.

Zina exhibited strong skills and a unique vision. She was involved in making life sized dinosaur puppets move. The kind that would require individuals suiting up inside of the contraption. Her art was beautiful and we all grew creatively while she was with us. Our experience with her was extremely positive and we missed her when she had to go back home to take care of her ailing grandmother. Just a few weeks ago in October I received an email from Zina saying how much she looked forward to coming back to The Academy again in the future.

On Wednesday, November 20 2013, Zina Lahr fell to her death in an accident while hiking in the hills around her hometown of Ouray, Colorado. She was only 23 years old.

Here's an article regarding her passing.

Zina was the kind of person that is too good for this world. She will be remembered as someone of exceptional significance and her memory will always be held as something very special to me personally. Zina made you feel wonderful just by being in her presence. She was full of love. Someone so extraordinary that a video of her has recently been uploaded to Vimeo that shows just how incredible she was.

It was such an honor and a privilege to have been her teacher even if just for a short while. I feel blessed for having had this experience with Zina.

For myself and on behalf of everyone who knew her here in Burbank we offer her family and loved ones our sincerest condolences. I'm heartbroken over the loss of this wonderful little lady and creative genius. A shooting star that was called to heaven. We were lucky to have known you and to have had you with us Zina. You'll be greatly missed.

Rest In Peace

Charles Zembillas

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