Andrea Christensen Rawson of Williamsburg and Onancock died Saturday, September 22, 2012 of ovarian cancer. She was 90 years old and was a resident of Chambrel at Williamsburg.
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She helped found a hospice, YMCA, and arts council for the Eastern Shore community and was a member of the Williamsburg Poetry Guild.
The wife of Roger Rawson, who died in 2000, she was born in Worcester, MA, the fourth child of Niels and Katherine (Stratton) Christensen.
Raised in Beaufort, SC, Andrea told stories of summers exploring the Beaufort River, climbing a huge live oak tree in their front yard and keeping a milk cow in the back yard.
She was orphaned at 16: her mother dead of cancer and her father killed in a car accident. She was cared for by relatives and attended Simmons College. During World War II, she worked in Baltimore, MD, for Martin Aircraft filing blueprints.
Andrea met and married Roger Rawson in 1946. He had just returned from the war where he served as an engineering officer on a destroyer. Roger adopted Andrea's son from her first marriage. After Roger finished college and graduate school, they settled near Fishkill, NY, where they raised a family that grew to five sons and a daughter.
While in New York, Andrea was active in the Christian Science Church in Poughkeepsie and headed the PTA of her daughter's school. She also began a lifelong love of scholarship through a group called Fortnightly whose members researched and delivered papers on current affairs.
More recently, Andrea was an instructor for the Christopher Wren Association, teaching courses on the writer Leo Tolstoy. She also lectured on Thomas Jefferson and Supreme Court Justice John Marshall.
In 1976, Andrea and Roger built a home in Onancock, VA. Andrea worked at the Hermitage retirement community as the activities director. She helped to found a hospice, YMCA, and arts council for the Eastern Shore community. She was a member of the Shore's Church Women United.
Andrea wrote poetry, which she read publicly on several occasions, and was a member of the Williamsburg Poetry Guild. She attended the Christian Science Church in Williamsburg.
Andrea is survived by her five sons, Joel and his wife, Janeen of Harrisville, RI; Stratton of Buffalo, NY; Michael and his spouse, Gordon Binder of Washington, DC; Robert and his companion, Jette Nielsen of Allerod, Denmark; Peter and his wife, Diane of Highland, NY; and a daughter, Katherine and her husband, Seth Benton of Williamsburg, VA. Andrea had eight grandchildren and six great-grandchildren; nieces, Nancy Thode of Stamford, CT; Stacey Ahner of Reston, VA; Anne Pollitzer and Barbara Gallop of Beaufort, SC; and nephew, Niels Christensen.
A memorial service will be Saturday, Oct. 13 at 3:30 p.m. at Chambrel, 3800 Treyburn Ave., Williamsburg, VA.
Donations may be made to Hospice House and Support Care of Williamsburg, 4445 Powhatan Parkway, Williamsburg, VA 23188, www.williamsburghospice.org.
Published in Virginia Gazette from Sept. 28 to Oct. 27, 2012