Obituary: Gina Louise Toothaker |

Obituary: Gina Louise Toothaker

Gina Louise Toothaker
Gina Louise Toothaker
Provided Photo

June 2, 1964 – November 12, 2022

Steamboat has lost one of the kindest hearts that ever graced its streets and slopes. On November 12, 2022, Gina Louise Toothaker left us much too soon after a very short battle with aggressive liver cancer. Gina’s transition from this world has left a void in our hearts, a void that will slowly be filled with the memories and legacy that she gifted to us so that we might carry them forward in our journey.
Gina was born in Denver, CO on June 2, 1964. She was adopted by a loving Steamboat Springs family when she was just 6 months old and grew up and planted deep and wonderful roots in this community. Gina really made her path and found her own way with help from family. She earned a master’s degree in counseling psychology and counselor education from the University of Colorado Denver in 1994. Shortly after, Gina made Steamboat her permanent home where she raised the greatest joys of her life: son, Brandon, and daughter, Abby.
She married her best friend and soulmate, Michael Toothaker, on May 14, 2007.
Gina stepped on stage as a young girl and never stopped dancing. She loved all things dance: performing, watching, choreographing, living, and breathing dance. She was a part of the Steamboat Dance Theatre for 40 years. To this day she is known as one of the oldest hip-hoppers, still performing in all genres, everything from tap to contemporary. She danced with her whole heart, for the people she loved. In between dances, she served on the Steamboat Dance Theatre Board, was an annual concert Producer and Artistic Director, and choreographed many unique and inspirational dances.
When she wasn’t dancing, Gina was leading Steamboat’s mental health community and setting examples, paving the way for mental health advancements, and fighting to insert grace into healing. For the past 27 years she worked with Mind Springs, starting as clinical supervisor at CO West Regional Mental Health in Craig in May 1995 and serving as Mind Springs Program Director since January 2004.
All of this said, the impact of this tragic loss isn’t just about the holes that are left in the organizations in which she served and worked. It’s about much more.
Mama, Wife, Grams, Daughter, Sister, Friend, Co-Worker, Mentor, Pillar, Lifeline, Soulmate, Rock: Gina meant so much to so many people. She strived to live her life to the fullest, never missing a moment to do something that mattered, make someone smile, or be there when someone needed an ear. She had a profound joy and respect for life. From traveling to her favorite places to taking an extra hour out of her day to check on a friend, hiking a 14er, cuddling her cat or her Person, taking time to read a book or get a massage, she lived by example: go after your dreams, kindness matters, do something today, buy the shoes, take the trip, no regrets, and always remember this is supposed to be fun. She lived and preached love over fear, and that connection, above all, is the foundation of love. She was genuine and loyal. Her kind demeanor and gentle spirit were a comfort to many and her gaze made you feel instantly special. Always encouraging you to be the best version of yourself, she never let go of your heart. She could turn a group of people into a Tribe. She was giving, smart, honest, strong, tenacious, patient, whitty, whimsical, steadfast, inspirational, and sacred. Her passion and fire for her family, her work, and her friends was evident in the thoughtful ways in which she expressed her unconditional love. She was the one who “got you.” She was the one who listened, never judged, held space, offered perspective, was a testimony to humanity.
Her favorite things were home design, fairies, books (she could read a book a week and that’s not on vacation), lemon, going out to dinner and dressing up, cats cats and more cats, being with friends, sleeping in, hot tubbing, exercising, music, watching really weird TV shows, her grandkids. In fact, one thing that can’t be overlooked is how much she loved her grandchildren. To see her interact with them was pure joy.
It is said that there are 6 degrees of separation between all human beings. With Gina, there was one. She connected everyone she knew in her dance of life. She was our constant.
She is preceded by her father James Alfred Golden and mother Evelyn Lucille Sellers and is survived by her stepmother Ruth Golden, brother Tony Golden, her children Abby and Brandon DeShazer, their father Kevin DeShazer, husband Michael Toothaker, his daughters Heather, Jessica and Michelle, and her four grandchildren Kai, Addy, Joey, and Frankie.
Gina was a beautiful human, a beautiful soul, and a beautiful light. This gentle spirit and wise soul is most likely choreographing a heavenly dance for a cast of angels. Toothfairy Gina, you are in our hearts. Be well, Dear Love, rest in peace, and keep dancing.
All are welcome to attend A Celebration of Life at 2:00 p.m., December 18, 2022 at The Steamboat Grand. We ask you to dress like Gina made you feel.

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