Beryl Doris (Mason) Christoph, 83, died peacefully July 16, 2012 at her daughter's house in Sterling, Massachusetts, with family at her side. She was born October 17, 1928 in Apex, New York, in the shadow of the Catskills, to Jesse and Mae (Utter) Mason. Her father, a switch man on the railroad, moved his family to South Lancaster in 1936, so his children could attend Christian schools. Beryl graduated from South Lancaster Academy (SLA) in 1947. To pursue her interest in nursing, Beryl enrolled at the New England Sanitarium and studied at Atlantic Union College (AUC) where she met, and later married (1952) Eugene "Pete" Christoph. She put her nursing skills to use at Brooke Army Medical Center, Fort Sam Houston, San Antonio, Texas where her husband was stationed. In 1956 they were invited by their church to serve at the Seventh-day-Adventist (SDA) Secondary School in Ihie, Nigeria, and later at the SDA Secondary School in Bekwai, Ghana. Beryl always put others first wherever she went. Six years of selfless devotion to the needs of others in the mission field did come to an end, but for the rest of her life she never stopped reaching out to help others. Resettling in Lancaster, Beryl continued nursing, and raised her children. For over 50 years she was an active member of the AUC SDA church where she provided many floral arrangements and sang in the choir. Beryl served as home and school leader at SLA, co-founded the SLA Alumni Association and later served as its President. One year she received the special honor of being chosen as SLA Alumnus of the Year. In her later years she developed her talents in painting, and enjoyed art classes at the AUC Art Department. She was a published author of 3 books, notably, Talking Drums. Beryl loved her family and spending time with them and all of her many cherished grandchildren. Beryl loved to write little ditties and poems, and to recite limericks and jingles to entertain her family, many of which were passed down to her by her own father. She is survived by her husband of 59 years, her children, Dr. Cynthia Christoph and husband Dr. James Greve of Miami, Florida, Bonnie Koval and husband Paul of Ashby, MA, Roy Christoph of Nampa, ID, Peter Christoph and wife Kathy of South Lancaster, MA., nine grand children, brothers, Jim Mason of West Paris, ME, Earl Mason of Bryant Pond, ME, and many cousins, nieces, and nephews. Memorial gifts may be made in her name to help support the SDA mission school in Bekwai, Ghana: Beryl Christoph Memorial Fund, Southern New England Conference, 34 Sawyer Street, P.O. Box 1169, South Lancaster, MA 01561-1169. A memorial service will be at the AUC SDA church in Lancaster, MA on August 25 at 3:00 p.m.
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Published by The Times & Courier - Clinton from Jul. 20 to Jul. 27, 2012.