It is with heavy hearts that Rolling Hills Zoo shares the news of the loss of two beloved members of their Rolling Hills Zoo family. Fran Marie Hunt and Chi Robert Woodrich left an indelible mark on their hearts and on the lives of everyone they encountered during their time at RHZ.
Fran, who joined the team in March 2019, brought warmth and kindness to her role in admissions and the gift shop. Her giving nature was truly exceptional, and she never wanted to see a child leave without a souvenir to remember their visit. Fran had a unique way of connecting with both children and adults, always asking, "What was your favorite part of the zoo or museum?" Her playful "Ewww, I don't like snakes!" response to snake enthusiasts always brought a smile. Kid's Country was her favorite spot in the zoo, and she willingly covered lunch breaks there, with Zoe being her favorite. Her feisty attitude and her knack for a good-natured "argument" (with a flair, of course) made the days brighter. Fran had a way of making everyone feel seen, a gift that touched many hearts. And who could forget her unwavering love for the Kansas City Chiefs, proudly donning her jersey whenever she could. Fran had a heart of gold, always willing to give, even if it meant giving you the shirt off her back. As the Guest Services Manager Danita Bosquez shared, "My life is better having known her, and I was truly blessed to call her a friend." It's easy to feel the same.
Chi Woodrich, who joined our education team this past summer, brought a unique passion and a wealth of knowledge to Rolling Hills Zoo. Chi's love for animals and his upbringing played a significant role in shaping the person he became. He was a treasure trove of stories and always eager to share his experiences with our campers. Chi's excitement for learning was infectious, and he would go above and beyond to help our campers with crafts, facts, and captivating stories. His presence was invaluable, especially within the Education Department, where he will be greatly missed.
Fran and Chi touched RHZ lives in their own special ways, leaving behind with cherished memories and profound impacts. Their spirits will forever be a part of Rolling Hills Zoo, and their absence leaves a void that can never be filled. RHZ extends their deepest condolences to families and friends during this difficult time.
In honor of Fran and Chi, RHZ will remember the joy they brought to Rolling Hills Zoo and the love they shared with all. They will always hold a special place in all hearts.
Rest in peace, dear friends.