MELVIN VILLAGE - Christine (Lois) Christiansen, 71, died Friday, September 27th at Wentworth-Douglass Hospital in Dover, NH after a brief illness.
Chris was born Lois Ann Christiansen on February 2, 1948 in Rockville Centre, Long Island, NY, the daughter of Charles A. Christiansen and Rosemary (Ward) Christiansen. She grew up in Baldwin, LI, graduating from Baldwin High School in 1968. She continued her education at the University of Bridgeport in Connecticut, graduating with a B.S. degree in 1970, and later received her Masters of Education from the University of New Hampshire in 1988. Prior to moving to New Hampshire, Chris taught Physical Education in Greenwich, Connecticut, and coached varsity Gymnastics, Field Hockey, and Track and Field.
Chris was an award winning gymnast. Many may remember her as Chris Widerstrom, who owned and instructed at the Wolfeboro School of Gymnastics from 1973 until 1984. She worked with hundreds of students over the years, including those with special needs. Along with her first husband, Chris also owned and operated Brookside Farm, Ltd. from 1983-1988, where she boarded horses and taught horseback riding to beginning and advanced riders.
Chris returned to education in 1983, beginning as a Physical Education teacher in Pittsfield, NH. She later worked in many areas of Special Education at Carpenter Elementary School, Kingswood Regional Middle School, and finally retiring from New Durham Elementary School in 2016.
In retirement, Chris enjoyed time sitting on the porch of her antique home, reading a good book and working in her beautiful gardens. She loved her trips to Nova Scotia with her husband Ralph, their time together raising service dogs, “Grammie Camps” with her much loved grandchildren, helping her daughter Britt rehab her home, and her getaway sister weekends with her sister Randi. She was active in the All Saints Church, which has provided tremendous support through Chris’ illness, and she loved being a new member of the choir.
Chris leaves her husband of 18 years, Ralph Cornwell of Melvin Village, her daughter Britt Kristen Widerstrom, her son Erik Anders Widerstrom, his wife Katie, grandson Jackson, and granddaughter Nora. Her brother Charles Christiansen and sisters Randi Roberts, Jeanne Christiansen, Posie Shaw, and their families. Chris also leaves her much loved Cornwell Family, her stepchildren Sally Cornwell, Robin Cornwell, Jennifer Cornwell, Andrew Cornwell, Jessica Cornwell Kelly, Janis Cornwell, and their families.
Visiting hours will be held from 4:00-6:00pm on Friday, October 4th, 2019 at the All Saints Church in Wolfeboro, New Hampshire. A memorial service will also be held at the church on Saturday, October 5th, 2019 at 1pm. Arrangements are being handled by the Lord Funeral Home, Wolfeboro, NH.
Flowers are welcome at All Saints Church or a donation can be made in Chris’s name to A.C.T.S. (Assistance Canine Training Services) at P.O. Box 52, North Conway, NH 03860.
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