Christine Louise Saum (1951 - 2015)

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    - Larry Radbill
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Obituary

Christine Louise Saum, 63, of Washington, DC, passed away Friday, February 13 from breast cancer.

She was born in Staunton, VA on December 26, 1951 to Arthur and Anne Saum, and grew up in Waynesboro, VA and Camden, SC.

Christine graduated from Virginia Commonwealth University with a BFA in Interior Design.

While working as an interior designer, she pursued her dream of becoming an architect, and she earned the Master of Architecture degree from Catholic University in Washington.

In 2008 Christine was a Loeb Fellow at the Harvard University Graduate School of Design.

She retired in July as Chief Urban Designer at the National Capital Planning Commission, the federal government's central planning agency for federal land and buildings in the National Capital Region. Before working at NCPC, she was the Executive Director of the Mayors' Institute on City Design, a program that helps transform communities by preparing mayors to be the chief urban designers of their cities.

In her last months Christine pursued a dream of designing a peaceful sanctuary on property she owned near Edinburg, VA. She made plans for a modest house on land sloping to a fishing creek to be transformed to bring together her love of design and nature. A wildflower garden and restoration of native plants were planned. The vision sustained her.

Family and friends were also an important part of Christine's life.

Christine is survived by her brother, David Saum; her sister, Jeanne Wine and Jeanne's husband, David Logan; her mother, Anne Saum; and her nephews, Ben and Daniel Logan.

She is predeceased by her father, Arthur Saum and her brother, Richard Saum.

A gathering to celebrate her life will be held in Washington on April 18 at a location to be announced.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made in Christine's name to DoctorsWithoutBorders.org, NatureConservancy.org, or the Shenandoah Valley Music Festival musicfest.org.

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Published in Northern Virginia Daily on Feb. 18, 2015
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