On Monday, November 2, 2020, Christine Horner (nee Cunningham), loving wife and mother passed away at the age of 72. She was at home with her husband, Bill, and beloved daughters.
Chris was born December 22, 1947 in San Francisco. Her father was a former WWII pilot, and her mother was a beautician. Her father's roots were from Wichita, Kansas, and her mother's family was from Seattle. Her father (Chuck) was working as a pilot in a commercial air (medical) service when he learned of an opening at Boeing. Chuck took the job and Chris was headed to West Seattle at age 4. Chris' Mother (Marian) had strong ties to West Seattle so Marian and family were headed home.
Chris went all through public school in West Seattle: Jefferson Elementary, Madison Jr. High, and started her sophomore year at West Seattle High School. Chuck's career was advancing well at Boeing and after many years of saving, their dream home in Shorewood on the Sound was completed. Chris transferred from West Seattle to Evergreen High School near the end of her Sophomore year. She left many longtime friends behind in West Seattle but at the same time started to make new friends at Evergreen. She became involved in school activities and was editor of the Evergreen High yearbook her senior year.
High School graduation led to Western Washington State College (now WWU) in the fall of 1966. Initially interested in Chemistry, Chris found her calling in teaching and switched to the Education Department. Chris graduated with a degree in Education in Spring of 1970 and received a teaching contract to teach 2nd Grade in the Edmonds School District.
Chris met Bill in the final quarter of her Senior year at Western. Bill was also an Education Major. Chris loves to point out they met in a class called the "Sociology of Deviant Behavior" - well what do you expect, it was the early 70s. Both went two separate professionals’ directions as Bill took a job with the Aberdeen School District. A few months of separation proved to be too much. Bill and Chris were engaged during Spring Vacation of 1971 and married on June 19, 1971.
Thus began 50 years of marriage. Chris was able to take a teaching job in the McCleary School District for the 1971 - 1972 school year. Unfortunately, McCleary Schools suffered a levy failure
and Chris was released. She went into the bank in Aberdeen, inquired and began a 15-year full
time, and later, a part time career with Seattle First National Bank (SEAFIRST). In 197 4, the family of three moved to Burien as Bill had taken a job with the Renton School District. In 1977, Bill decided to leave teaching and went to work for Boeing.
Bill and Chris have three daughters: Rachele (born Dec. 24, 1973 in Aberdeen), Katy (born Sept 19, 1976 in Seattle), and Annie (born May 20, 1983 in Seattle.) The girls started to enter school and Chris decided she wanted to be a Mom meeting the girls as they arrived home from school. The SEAFIRST work dropped to one day a week with a very few days added in on rare occasions.
Chris decided to get back to teaching in the late 1980s. She worked for two years running a preschool center for immigrant families. This program was operated through South Seattle Community College. After this assignment, she decided that she wanted to get back to the Public Schools and was hired as a substitute teacher with the Seattle Schools. One sub assignment took her to Maple Elementary School on Beacon Hill. The following year, she had a continuing contract at Maple School where she remained until her retirement in June of 2008. Her career at Maple School started in the Bilingual Orientation Center (BOC). This was a special classroom designed to receive recently arrived immigrant children. Her job was to prepare them to "mainstream" into a regular classroom. Chris had access to multiple language interpreters. She had no need to speak another language since she would have 5 or more languages represented in the classroom at any one time. Whenever asked how she managed, she simply would say, "My job is to teach them English". After three years in the BOC, Chris transitioned into a regular classroom where she taught 1st and 2nd grade for the next 14 years. Bill and Chris both retired in 2008, spending time with daughters and grandchildren as well as pursuing their favorite past time -Travel. Many great International and Domestic trips were taken between 2000 and 2019.
In 2016, the decision was made to leave the 1910 home in West Seattle (a home with many stairs) for a house with very few or even zero stairs. The hunt was started for a "rambler". The primary area of focus was Bellingham. It appears, however, that the house they were searching for found them. That house was in Anacortes, a town that they have learned to love very much, and the house was perfect.
Chris has had three battles with breast cancer: stage one in 1990, stage 3 in 2014, taking us to stage 4 in late 2019 to the present. She was a fighter.
Christine was predeceased by her parents. She is survived by her husband of 49 years, Bill Horner; daughters (spouses): Rachele (Chris Jacobson), Kathryn (Zach Russell) and Anne (Josh Stilts); grandchildren: Alyssa, Emily Balogh, Lewis, Natalie, Charles Russell, Emmeline Stilts, Kaylee Jacobson; great grandson, Arlo Forville and brother, Jeff Cunningham.
A Virtual Online Celebration of Life for Christine will be held: 1 p.m. Saturday, November 14, 2020 at the Westminster Presbyterian Church in Anacortes. There will not be an in-person service. The link to attend the Virtual Celebration: https://www.facebook.com/wpc.anacortes or at www.wpcanacortes.com. You do not need a Facebook account to view the video on Facebook.
To share memories of Chris, please sign the online guestbook at www.evanschapel.com