Mary Leita Christian obituary photo
 
In Memory of

Mary Leita Christian

March 7, 1933 - October 7, 2016

Obituary


CHRISTIAN, Mary Leita (Pike) - age 83 of Flint, MI passed away on October 7, 2016. She was a remarkable woman who lived a very full life that included an accomplished career dedicated to service as a passionate advocate for children and teachers. She was born in Flint, MI on March 7, 1933 and made Flint her home. She graduated from Flint Northern H.S. and the University of Michigan, where she graduated with a degree in Dental Hygiene and an M.A. in Education. She was an elementary teacher for thirty-three years at Cummings, Walker, and...

CHRISTIAN, Mary Leita (Pike) - age 83 of Flint, MI passed away on October 7, 2016. She was a remarkable woman who lived a very full life that included an accomplished career dedicated to service as a passionate advocate for children and teachers. She was born in Flint, MI on March 7, 1933 and made Flint her home. She graduated from Flint Northern H.S. and the University of Michigan, where she graduated with a degree in Dental Hygiene and an M.A. in Education. She was an elementary teacher for thirty-three years at Cummings, Walker, and Pierce schools, while making her mark as president of the United Teachers of Flint and moving on to the Michigan Education Association to become President and Vice-President. The UTF Mary Christian Scholarship Fund was founded in 1966 and supported many local students from Flint. Mary also helped to establish and provide leadership to the MEA scholarship fund, which has given nearly $500,000 to forty-one Michigan students. She was also awarded Teacher of the Year in the state of Michigan, and the Lifetime Service Award in the Mu Chapter of Delta Kappa Gamma Society International. In addition to the NEA, the MEA, the MEA-Retired, GLEA-Retired, and the UTF, Mary served tirelessly on many other boards including Keep Michigan Beautiful, FORMAR Nature Preserve, and Delta Kappa Gamma. Mary was very accomplished outside of her career as well. She was active in her church, serving as deacon, elder, and a member of the choir. She traveled the world extensively with professional groups and with family and friends, was a talented wood carver, pianist, and bridge player. She loved her camping club, the Garland Literary Society, and was a supporter of the Flint Arts and the Lansing Wharton Theatre. "Aunt Mary" was a second mother to many, including nieces, nephews, and the children of her closest friends. She was in high demand for holiday gatherings, and eagerly attended many of the important events in the lives of her extended "family". Mary was preceded in death by her parents, Dr. Paul Pike and Leita Pike, and her brother, Dr. Frederick Pike. She is survived by her sister Virginia Paul of Bainbridge Island, WA, sister-in-law Janice Pike, and nieces and nephews Mary Crosby, Wally Miller, Martha Tejera, David Pike, James Pike, Laura Levenberg, Paul Pike, and Bob Pike, along with many grand nieces and nephews. A service honoring Mary will be held on Friday, October 28, 2016 at First Presbyterian Church - 746 S. Saginaw St. Flint, MI with visitation from 10AM-12PM and service at 12PM. Rev. Dr. Joseph A. Novak officiating. She will be laid to rest at Sunset Hills Cemetery. The family would like to extend a special thanks to the wonderful doctors and nurses at McLaren Hospital for the special care they gave to Mary in her last days. Memorial contributions can be made to the First Presbyterian Church Children's Ministry at 746 Saginaw St., Flint, MI 48502 or to MEA scholarship fund. Online condolences may be shared with the family at www.brownfh.com. Mary will be greatly missed by her large circle of friends and family and the many who knew her as "Aunt Mary".