In Memory

Christine Douglass VIEW PROFILE

Christine Charlotte Douglass, 73, of Northampton, died Wednesday, October 31, 2018, in Bay State Medical Center, Springfield, following a stroke the prior evening.

Born May 14, 1945, in Chicago, she was the third of five children of Benjamin and Elizabeth Douglass. She leaves behind a son, Matthew McGuire, his wife, Mingke Wang, and their daughters, Charlotte and Catherine; two sisters, Catherine Douglass and Constance Harvard; a brother, Bruce Douglass; her former partner James McGuire; a number of nieces and nephews; a universe of friends so close as to be family; and her beloved dachshunds and cats. 

In addition to her parents, she was predeceased by a brother, Benjamin Jr. 

Chris grew up in the Chicago suburb of Oak Park. She earned a degree in biology from The University of Michigan, and arrived in Western Massachusetts soon after. She lived in Worthington, where she raised her son, then moved to Northampton, where she lived for the past 32 years.

She worked in a number of fields, most of them related to healthcare, which best reflected her desire to care for people of all stripes and share her warmth, love and attention.

Chris was an avid weaver and a lover of music and the English language. In middle age she resumed her childhood pursuit of the cello, which she enjoyed playing in small local ensembles and with friends. She also sang in The Hampshire Choral Society for the past several decades. Her love of literature was complemented by a loving insistence on grammatical precision inherited from her mother.

But she will be best remembered by those who knew her for her exceptional kindness. She showed true generosity of spirit not only to her friends and family, but to all she met. Countless people will remember her, whether for some specific kindness or just for her peaceful presence. While she did not practice the religion of her childhood, she in many ways represented a truly spiritual nature.

The greatest joy of Chris's later years was the birth of granddaughters Charlotte and Catherine, with whom she spent as much time as she could in Northampton and in their home in New York City. Just weeks before her passing, she finished construction on a treehouse and playset so that they would always feel like "Nai Nai's house" was a second home to them. Although they didn't have nearly enough years with her, the time they spent with her in their young lives will be with them always.

Chris was an organ donor. Her remains will be cremated and her ashes spread in private ceremonies at places of significance to her and her family in Massachusetts and Michigan.

Donations in Chris's memory may be made to Dakin Humane Society, 163 Montague Road, Leverett MA 01054. Alternatively, friends and loved ones may honor her life by caring for one another, being kind to animals and those in need, and promoting harmony and peace in the world.

Published in Daily Hampshire Gazette on Nov. 6, 2018


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11/10/18 05:26 PM #1    

H Stephen Dahlquist

A long time ago (probably '54-'55) Chris and I were Sunday School classmates at  First Presbyterian Church in Oak Park and I remember that even back then she was a very kind and thoughtful person.  I also knew her brother Benny from Scouts.  RIP old friends.


11/10/18 07:29 PM #2    

Bille J Nelson (Robinson)

What a beautiful tribute to Chris.  She left a meaningful footprint by caring so genuinely.  Such a wonderful gift of grace.


11/10/18 09:35 PM #3    

Randy Lewis

Christine Charlotte Douglass


Chris, or Chrissy as I knew her at Holmes from kindergarten to eighth grade, was a great friend to many, one who excelled at many and varied things, certainly in high school, and a true leader, thoughtful and caring of others. The story about building a tree house for her granddaughters, her love of music and animals and her kindness, confirm these qualities from her early life.


A valedictory: 

Henri-Frédéric Amiel : “Life is short, and we do not have too much time to gladden the hearts of those who travel with us, so be quick to love and make haste to be kind. And may the blessing of the One who made us, the One who loves us, and the One who travels with us, be with you and those you love this day and always.” Amen.


“May flights of angels sing thee to thy rest”. 










11/11/18 03:31 PM #4    

Robert Gray

I remember Chris from K through 8th grade at Holmes School.  I will never forget the show "Hansel and Grettle" that our 5th and 6th grade teacher, Margaret Sauer, produced when we were in 6th grade.  Our class put on the production three or four times as I recall, with three different casts.  That meant three Grettles and three Hansels.  I had the privelege of being the "Hansel" that acted with Chris, who played Grettle.  Chris was a wonderful, gentle, caring person, who was well liked and respected by all of her classmates.  I was pleased to hear about how she spent her life.  We will miss her!   

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