This is the amazing story of a life far too short, but filled with more love and grace than many will ever know in their lifetime.
Christine took a piece of so many hearts when she quietly slipped from this world on February 4, 2020 to begin the next chapter of her life in heaven. Throughout a long and painful battle with cancer she faced each and every challenge presented with fierce determination, wanting nothing more than to spend many more years with those she loved most.
The world was forever changed on July 31, 1970 when Christine Louise Thompson enthusiastically entered the world. Born to Patricia and Charles Thompson, it was clear from the very start that she would leave an imprint on everyone who knew and loved her.
Christine grew up with her younger sister Elle, and together they explored the world, shared many adventures and made amazing memories. Sisters from the very start, but so much more as they grew into adulthood.
Her years at Hoffman Estates High School are where her love for the arts truly blossomed. Her beautiful voice was much appreciated in the Concert Choir and eventually led to being cast for roles in multiple theater productions, including her starring role as Anna in the “King and I”. The highlight of her high school years was being selected as a member of the Madrigal Singers with whom she performed her junior and senior years.
Christine continued her education at the University of Iowa, eventually transferring to and graduating from Northern Illinois University with a Bachelor of Science in Urban/Economic Geography.
It was during her years at NIU that she found her home away from home in Delta Phi Epsilon, a sisterhood of women with whom she fit in like the last piece of a puzzle. It was Delta Phi Epsilon that brought a group of women together on a journey that has lasted long beyond graduation. Christine always made time for a quick conversation, a heartfelt text, an impromptu evening out or a much needed hug. Her irreplaceable spirit will remain in their hearts forever.
Christine's love for books started at a very young age as she listened to the gentle voice of her mother reading to her. As a child she could always be found poring over a book, and as a young woman she chose reading over many leisure activities. Christine was passionate about all things related to books. Her passion extended to her desire to share the magic of reading with others. Her family and friends always were delighted when Christine gave them a book that she had specifically chosen for them. She often said that she wasn't a retail “seller.” She loved to hand sell books, putting the appropriate book into the readers hand. As District Manager for publishing companies, she worked to get the best books into stores so that they were available for all.
Her talent for retail and bookstore management was rewarded by promotions resulting in her living in multiple states. She was fascinated by Baltimore, and fell in love with Spring Hill, Tennessee. The past 10 years she managed all Barbara's Bookstore locations at O 'Hare Airport. Her expansive literary knowledge made her invaluable to travelers looking for entertainment during an upcoming flight. She was also known for always making time to share a moment with a friend as they passed through the airport and once helped a much loved teddy bear, accidentally left behind, find his way back home.
Christine loved everything that had to do with the British. Their fashion, their books, their movies, their traditions. A trip that she always cherished was one to England, where she could absorb first hand the style and pageantry. She loved British Afternoon Teas, and was known to attend them, both abroad and in the states.
Christine loved her grass roots. Spending time out at the family farm, walking the fields, experiencing the smell, tasting the fresh produce and driving the four wheeler around the farm.
Christine was a true feminist. She delighted in meeting Gloria Steinem at the airport. She strongly believed in women's rights and encouraged all women to read the Handmaids Tale. She was drawn to Nicolle, the Vitas Chaplain, as she felt that Nicolle represented all that women could be.
Her amazing artistic talent was evidenced by beautiful counted cross stitch pieces that she lovingly made and generously gave to friends and family. She loved decorating the inside of her home to make it cozy and inviting, and planting trees and flowers to welcome visitors when they arrived. She loved her home, and she loved entertaining. Whether a dinner party, a holiday party, a woman's book club or just a visit from family or friend, Christine's door was always open.
She loved Dr. Who, The Tardis, Battlestar Galactica, quiet afternoons working counted cross stitch, discussing the British Royal Family, volunteering at Bernie's Book Bank, sorting books for at-risk children in the Chicago area, relaxing visits to Minnesota, conversations with her Mom, evenings out with her sorority sisters, dinner at home with John and snuggles with her kittens who adored her.
When Christine and John met they enthusiastically embraced life in spite of Christine's illness. They traveled, they challenged their intellect on many trivia nights, they sang karaoke and attended beer tastings. They built a home, landscaped, adopted two needy kittens and anticipated a future of love and happiness together. Christine loved and was loved by John's entire family. She was always excited to spend time with, and share updates on, the life of her “grandbabies” Emmett and Rooney.
So many amazing qualities are what made her “Uniquely Christine”--her sparkling wit, her intellectual mind, her passion for literature of all genres, her love for every cat that graced her presence. Most importantly, her kind heart and compassionate soul made her the kind of true friend one only meets a few times in their lifetime.
We are grateful for the loving care that the staff from Vitas Hospice offered to Christine. They were incredibly kind and caring, and made her final days at home very peaceful and pain free. We are also very grateful to the Hoffman Estates High School Madrigals for coming to Christine's bedside and singing beautiful songs.
Her legacy will live in those who will miss her endlessly; her loving mother Patricia Mustari, her life partner, John Laird, her sister Michelle Thompson Cooper, her niece Kaya Cooper, as well as aunts, uncles and cousins. And of course her much loved kitten companions that she rescued last summer.
She was welcomed joyfully into heaven by her dad, Charles, her grandparents Gilbert and Barbara Barkei, and Glen and Della Thompson, her uncle Bob, and her loyal feline companions for many years Annie, Katie and Cookie.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in her name to the American Cancer Society, or the Delta Phi Epsilon Educational Foundation. Also, we will be collecting donations of new or gently used books for children and teens at Countryside to deliver to Bernie's Book Bank.