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HomeNewsArchivesBELOVED EDUCATOR ELENA CHRISTIAN DIES AT 105

BELOVED EDUCATOR ELENA CHRISTIAN DIES AT 105

BELOVED EDUCATOR ELENA CHRISTIAN DIES AT 105
Oct. 2, 2001 — Elena Christian, one of the Virgin Islands’ educational icons, died Tuesday on St. Croix at the age of 105.
As the matriarch of the Christian clan, her life spanned more than five generations that included son Almeric Christian, former chief judge of the U.S. District Court, who died two years ago at age 80, and granddaughter Donna Christian Christensen, the territory’s delegate to Congress.
As an educator, Christian has a career that covered more than five decades, from 1913, when she began teaching elementary school in what was then the Danish West Indies, until 1967, when she retired. During that time she was also a high school teacher, an assistant principal and finally principal of the then Christiansted High School.
She was honored twice by the Legislature, in 1967 at her retirement and 1971, when the junior high school in Christiansted was named in her honor.
"She helped shape the lives of many Virgin Islands school children, many of whom grew up to be community leaders," Christensen said. "Our entire family is, of course, greatly saddened by the death of our beloved matriarch, but it was not unexpected, as we have been blessed to have her with us for 105 years, and over five generations."
Gov. Charles W. Turnbull noted that Christian’s own education didn’t end with her retirement. "Because she was of strong character and considered learning a never-ending process, she earned a master's degree in 1967 from Hampton Institute in Virginia," he said, describing her as "one of the most beloved educators that the Virgin Islands has produced."
Sen. Vargrave Richards, a former teacher, said that while he was saddened by Christian’s death, he would celebrate the contributions she made to the community. "Mrs. Christian will be remembered with great respect and love by all whom she taught, worked with, served and fought for," he said. "We salute this beloved matriarch and thank her for the enormous strength and courage she displayed in service to the territory."
Senate President Almando "Rocky" Liburd, also a former teacher, said extended his condolences to the Christian family on behalf of the 24th Legislature. He called Christian a lady of immense spiritual faith who dedicated much of her energy to the St. John Anglican Church in Christiansted.
He said Christian "will always be remembered for her pioneering work in education and a pillar of strength and immense wisdom in our community."
Christensen said the family was still in the process of notifying family members and friends and will begin making preparations for a service celebrating Elena Christian’s life shortly.

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BELOVED EDUCATOR ELENA CHRISTIAN DIES AT 105
Oct. 2, 2001 -- Elena Christian, one of the Virgin Islands’ educational icons, died Tuesday on St. Croix at the age of 105.
As the matriarch of the Christian clan, her life spanned more than five generations that included son Almeric Christian, former chief judge of the U.S. District Court, who died two years ago at age 80, and granddaughter Donna Christian Christensen, the territory’s delegate to Congress.
As an educator, Christian has a career that covered more than five decades, from 1913, when she began teaching elementary school in what was then the Danish West Indies, until 1967, when she retired. During that time she was also a high school teacher, an assistant principal and finally principal of the then Christiansted High School.
She was honored twice by the Legislature, in 1967 at her retirement and 1971, when the junior high school in Christiansted was named in her honor.
"She helped shape the lives of many Virgin Islands school children, many of whom grew up to be community leaders," Christensen said. "Our entire family is, of course, greatly saddened by the death of our beloved matriarch, but it was not unexpected, as we have been blessed to have her with us for 105 years, and over five generations."
Gov. Charles W. Turnbull noted that Christian’s own education didn’t end with her retirement. "Because she was of strong character and considered learning a never-ending process, she earned a master's degree in 1967 from Hampton Institute in Virginia," he said, describing her as "one of the most beloved educators that the Virgin Islands has produced."
Sen. Vargrave Richards, a former teacher, said that while he was saddened by Christian’s death, he would celebrate the contributions she made to the community. "Mrs. Christian will be remembered with great respect and love by all whom she taught, worked with, served and fought for," he said. "We salute this beloved matriarch and thank her for the enormous strength and courage she displayed in service to the territory."
Senate President Almando "Rocky" Liburd, also a former teacher, said extended his condolences to the Christian family on behalf of the 24th Legislature. He called Christian a lady of immense spiritual faith who dedicated much of her energy to the St. John Anglican Church in Christiansted.
He said Christian "will always be remembered for her pioneering work in education and a pillar of strength and immense wisdom in our community."
Christensen said the family was still in the process of notifying family members and friends and will begin making preparations for a service celebrating Elena Christian’s life shortly.