Ian and Helen Christopher’s family will gather from Washington, California, New Mexico and Tennessee to remember them and commit their ashes to the columbarium in the Memorial Garden at the Olympia Unitarian Universalist Congregation Sunday, July 3, at 1:00 pm.
Ian Christopher (1900-1997) and Helen Gray Christopher (1909-2008) were prominent members of the Olympia community, known and celebrated for their vision and leadership, especially in the arts. In addition, they were members of the group that founded the Olympia Unitarian Fellowship in 1952.
Ian Christopher, who grew up in Olympia, was a lifelong sailor, an early member of the Olympia Yacht Club, and a founding member of the South Sound Sailing Society. He was also a founding member of the Olympia Photography Club. For 33 years he played flute and cello in the Olympia Symphony, of which he was an honorary life member, and hosted jazz and chamber music sessions at the family home on Henderson Inlet.
Helen Christopher, who was born in Wilbur WA, was dedicated to family and service to the community. In 2003 she was honored with the Salute to the Arts award for her “numerous and outstanding contributions to the arts in the South Sound area.” Helen co-founded the Olympia Little Theater, Junior Programs, and the Associates of the State Capital Museum (ASCM). A tireless supporter of the arts, she worked with others to create the Washington Center for the Performing Arts and was honored by Olympia City Supervisor Eldon Marshall, as “The Mother of the Auditorium.” Helen acted in and directed musicals, dramas and children’s theater in Olympia. At age 88, she wrote her autobiography, Double Entry, recounting a life full of family, close friends, theater, and good humor.
Ian and Helen were loving, proud parents of their children, their partners, and families: James Gray Christopher (Gina); Sonja Lee Christopher (Gail); Gretchen Diane Christopher (Vos); William Ian Christopher; grandchildren and great-grandchildren. James died in 2018.
All who remember Ian and Helen are invited to attend and share memories at the dedication of the Christophers’ ashes Sunday, July 3, 1:00 pm, in the Olympia Unitarian Universalist Congregation’s Memorial Garden columbarium, 2315 Division St. NW, Olympia WA 98502.
This memorial and interment ceremony were recorded, and a video of the event is available here: