Martha Stelling Christian
Martha Stelling Christian of Fripp Island, South Carolina, died on Tuesday, October 22, 2013.
Mrs. Christian was born in Augusta, Georgia on May 29, 1921, the daughter of Frank and Rhetta Stelling.
She was pre-deceased by her husband, Dr. Richard Morton Christian and is survived by their four children, Dr. Elizabeth Stelling Christian, of Charleston, Margaret Christian Pope, wife of Gary Tusten Pope, of Columbia, Dr. Richard Morton Christian, Jr., husband of Patricia Young Christian, of Greenwood, Thomas Charles Christian, husband of Deborah Trammell Christian, of Taylors, and by eight grandchildren, Gary Tusten Pope, Jr., husband of Faith Marett Pope, Elizabeth Christian Pope, Richard Morton Christian III, Jody Lee Christian, Ann Stelling Pope, Tyson Evers Christian, Lara Ann Christian, and Rhetta Truluck Christian.
Mrs. Christian graduated from Vanderbilt University School of Nursing in 1943. She and Dr. Christian were married during her senior year on the sixth of March 1943, and shortly thereafter Dr. Christian was called to active duty in the United States Army Medical Corps in the European theatre. During the War she worked as a home health nurse in the mountainous backwoods of Tennessee. After his return from military service, Dr. Christian finished his residency in Nashville, Tennessee and then completed a fellowship in Rochester, New York.
In 1950, they moved to Greenwood, South Carolina where they raised their four children. Mrs. Christian was active in school and community affairs in Greenwood. Here she initiated a vision screening program for all elementary school students and secured glasses and medical care for those in need. She also began a reading program for elementary school students in order to ensure that all children could read at their proper level. She also assisted her daughter Dr. Elizabeth Christian as her nurse in Walterboro, South Carolina.
In 1991 they retired to Fripp Island, South Carolina. She was a member of St. John's Lutheran Church in Beaufort, where she served on the Altar Guild and continued her community outreach through Martha's Animals,which provides a homemade stuffed animal to each child that visits local emergency rooms.
The family will receive friends in the Fellowship Hall of St. Matthew's Lutheran Church at 405 King Street from five to seven thirty in the evening on Thursday, October 24, 2013. A memorial service will be held at St. John's Lutheran Church at 157 Lady's Island Drive, Beaufort, SC at two o'clock in the afternoon on Friday, October 25, 2013. A private burial service will follow at Magnolia Cemetery in Augusta, Georgia at a later date.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to St. John's Lutheran Church of Beaufort, South Carolina or to St. Matthew's Lutheran Church of Charleston, South Carolina.
The family would like to extend special thanks to all of her physicians and caregivers, Shirley Chaplain, Chanda Bumchamb, Sharon Guillard, Sandy Black, and Sabrina Smith, with special thanks to Dr. Judy Haile, Dr. Georgia Roane, Dr. Austin Ball, Dr. Telfair Parker, Dr. Wills Geils, and Dr. Eric Jablon.
Online condolences can be left for the family at www.whitakerfuneralhome.com.
Whitaker Funeral Home of Newberry is assisting the family.
Published in The Greenville News on Oct. 24, 2013
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