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Christine Elizabeth Rasche

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Christine Elizabeth Rasche Obituary
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Christine Elizabeth Rasche, Ph.D., innovative professor, researcher, mentor and community leader, died June 30, 2018, surrounded by loved ones. A founding faculty member of the University of North Florida, Rasche was known for her depth of knowledge, exuberant laugh, giving spirit and enduring integrity. She taught Criminology and Sociology with passion and humor to thousands of students over four decades at UNF. In addition to her professional achievements, Rasche had a loving heart for people and animals, a commitment to the betterment and protection of her family and community, a devotion to music and the arts, and an ongoing love of nature.
Rasche, 71, moved to Jacksonville from her hometown of St. Louis, Mo. in 1972, just after earning her Ph.D. in Sociology from Washington University. She was attracted to UNF because UNF's founding administration emphasized the importance of good teaching. Rasche's devotion to teaching lasted throughout her long career and infused most of her activities. An exacting educator who required the best from her students, Rasche also loved to innovate. She created centers,
departments, programs and community organizations during more than 45 years in Jacksonville.
At UNF, Rasche founded the Department of Criminology and Criminal Justice, developed the undergraduate and graduate Criminal Justice programs, twice served as Department Chair, created and directed the Women's Studies Program, and served as President of the UNF Faculty Association. She received numerous Outstanding Teaching and Service Awards and the Susan B. Anthony Award. Rasche worked with the Duval County Domestic Violence Fatality Review Team and was appointed by the Governor of Florida as a Special Reviewer for clemency applications for women incarcerated for killing their abusers. She was a founding member of the American Society of Criminology Division on Women and Crime, served as Division Chair, archivist, and was a long-time Editorial Board member of the Division journal, Feminist Criminology. She was also a founding and active member of the international Homicide Research Working Group.
Rasche's penchant for creating new things extended to the community. She was a founding member of Hubbard House; served on the Mayor's Advisory Committee on the Status of Women; was a Director of The Florida Ballet, and organizer and President of Friends of the Florida Ballet; helped found the UNF Women's Center; was on the Board of Directors and President of Girls, Inc.; was a member of and actively participated in Leadership Jacksonville programs; consulted with the Florida State Attorney's Office; and was on the Grand Jury Results Committee of the Duval County Sheriff's Office.
An active scholar who published in some of the major journals in her discipline, Rasche also regularly presented her research at leading academic conferences. Her commitment to scholarship included mentoring young students and colleagues, whom Rasche was quick to guide, advise and praise. In remembering Rasche, one of her colleagues recalled a quote from Maya Angelou: "I've learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel." Rasche gladly helped others and worked diligently to make the world feel and be a better place.
Rasche's memory will live on through the echoes of her lively laugh, her legacy of mentorship and commitment to integrity, and the paths of thousands of students and colleagues she inspired over the course of her distinguished career.
She is survived by her partner of more than 37 years, Linda Oberdorfer; stepson Douglas Oberdorfer (Kirby) and two grandchildren, Benjamin and Hannah Oberdorfer of Jacksonville, Fla; two sisters, Lisa Rasche Qualman (William) of La Grange, Texas, and Ruth Ellen Rasche (Ray) of Gainesville, Fla.
A memorial service will be held in the fall at UNF. In lieu of flowers, gifts can be made to the Chris Rasche Memorial Fund at UNF. All memorial gifts should be made payable to the UNF Foundation and either mailed to UNF Foundation, 1 UNF Drive, Building 60, Jacksonville, FL 32224 or completed online at https://give.unf.edu/Chris-Rasche-Memorial-Fund For assistance, call 904-620-3946.

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Published in the Florida Times-Union on Aug. 12, 2018
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