Christina Mary England
Christina Mary England
May 23, 1932 ‐ November 22, 2021
Christine Mary England (Gillan) passed away peacefully, surrounded by her family on November 22, 2021 at her home in Westlake, Ohio at the age of 89.
Christine is remembered lovingly by her husband of 59 years, John England, her daughter, Susan Abraham (England), and her husband Alan, son Robert, and his wife, Karen. Her grandchildren, Claire Wirtanen (Abraham) and her husband Jay, Annie Abraham, Christopher Abraham, Evan England, and Alex England, continue to uphold her memory. She is also remembered by her niece and nephew Geraldine and David Ray and her “adopted” niece, Auditi Guha. She joins her brother, Richard Gillan (deceased), who is survived by wife Patricia, and her sister Sheila Ray (deceased), who is survived by her husband, William.
Christine was born May 23, 1932, to Geraldine and Robert Gillan of Walsall, England. She was raised in a family of doctors and artists, but she saw the world through an artist’s eye. Christine had a happy childhood filled with walking and sketching holidays, bicycle trips, and family sing-a-longs with her father playing the piano. She had vivid memories of visits to the local arboretum with her brother, Richard, and sister, Sheila. As a young girl, she remembered hearing the bombs of WWII as her family sheltered in their cellar. Her parents, both doctors, were compensated for their services with chickens, and she loved taking care of them. Although she and her siblings were shipped off to the country on a train to live safely with strangers on a farm for a short time, she recalled it as “all terribly exciting.”
Christine earned a distinction in art in high school, received The National Diploma of Design from the Central School of Art in London, and an Art Teacher’s Diploma from the West of England College of Art. She specialized in illustration and printmaking, worked as a display artist, taught art to children in grade school, and worked with people with disabilities to develop their skills in the arts.
In 1959 Christine met John at a party of mutual friends, and they married on July 7, 1962. In the next few years, they added two children to the family, Susan, and Robert and moved from England to Scotland and back to England. During this time, she focused on raising her children and giving them the fun-filled childhood she experienced. She made sure they visited as many art museums and gardens as possible. When an opportunity arose in the USA, the family moved 4,500 miles to St. Joseph, Michigan.
As her children grew older, Christine became involved in different art groups. She enjoyed sketching her new surroundings in Michigan, especially the lovely old barns, fields of corn, miles of orchards, and the dunes of Lake Michigan. She exhibited her work in area shows and also continued to teach students of all ages. In 1983 the family moved to the Cleveland area, where she taught at Bay Arts and exhibited her work in many different galleries and shows in Ohio. She was an active member of the Ohio Watercolor Society. She won the Grumbacher Gold Medallion and the OWS Merit Award. She continued to exhibit in the area up until the last years of her life. Christine never thought she was a great or even a good artist, but she encouraged everyone she met to try art and told them they were fantastic. When she picked up a pencil, somehow, magic happened.
Christine was a true nature lover, an avid gardener, and a birdwatcher. Her wild English gardens provided a splash of color in her neighborhood year-round. She belonged to the Cleveland Hiking Club and received her 5,000-mile award. She could quote poetry, and she loved singing old English rounds and hymns. She was a kind and loving wife, mother, grandmother, aunt, and friend, and she will be missed by everyone who knew her.
Friends and family will be received between 10 am and 11 am on Saturday, November 27, 2021, with a memorial service at 11:00 am. Jenkins Funeral Chapel, 2914 Dover Center Road, Westlake, Ohio 44145.
Donations can be made to The Ohio Watercolor Society or FAVA - Firelands Association for the Visual Arts in Oberlin, OH .
Live Stream of Christina England's Memorial Service.
Christine has been part of the fabric of the BAYarts community for decades; known for her dreamy watercolors, she won many awards
and donated work that hangs in the halls to this day. We will Remember her for her sweet gentle demeanour and lovely sense of humor. Regards to her “manager” and chauffeur; her dear husband, John. Rest in peace Christine.
I so enjoyed her as my teacher (I had private lessons). She's the reason I'm primarily a watercolorist. I remember painting at the beach - she taught me more about art than any of my college instructors ever did. I will always remember those days fondly.
Christine had a full and interesting life. Her art will always be remembered. I also felt so grateful to her when she came to Wales and stayed with us when Richard was dying.
Thank you for all your support, Christine.
I know what fun we always had and how pleased I was when you and George and family visited. Also when Richard and I came over to the States for Susan and Al's wedding and Robert and Karens wedding ho well you and George welcomed and looked after us. Rest in Peace. Fond love, Patricia.
Christine was regular member and integral part of our original Portrait Group, first at BayCrafters, then at ArtsTown, and finally, at the Community Center in Sheffield Lake. We will remember her for her beautiful art and her subtle wit. I'm sure her spirit will be with us as we make art, and my daughter, Loren, and I will think of her fondly whenever we have a grilled cheese with "to-mah-to" sandwich!