Christine (Chris) Marie Wilde, of The Villages, Florida passed away on Wednesday, October 7, 2020 after a long illness. She was 71.
Chris is survived by her husband of 49 years, Gary Wilde; daughter, Jennifer Wilde, and grandson, Jacob Little; son, Timothy Wilde, and daughter-in-law, Elizabeth Covart; sister, Elizabeth Sirjani, and many other beloved family members.
She was preceded in death by her parents, Clifton and Theresa Pate; brother, Clifton; and sister, Barbara Johnson.
Chris lived a life centered around family that took her to many unexpected places across the country and beyond. She was born in Muskegon, MI and grew up in Wayne, MI, graduating from St. Mary’s High School. At the age of nineteen she received a ticket by lottery draw to the 1968 World Series, minting a lifelong Detroit Tigers fan. She proudly attended the University of Michigan (Go Blue!), achieving a bachelor’s degree in elementary education.
Gary and Chris were married at St. Mary’s in 1971, while Gary was in the US Air Force. From there, they traveled to Lancaster, CA where Chris taught at Rosamond Elementary in the Mojave Desert. Three years later, they moved to Kalamazoo, MI where she taught at St. Mary’s in Paw Paw. 1976 brought her to St. Raymond near Schaumburg, IL. The next year, Gary and Chris moved to the Southern Tier of New York, where they started their family and began to put down roots. Chris taught at St. Patrick School in Owego after spending time at home raising her own children.
The nineties brought an opportunity for a new adventure, across the pond in England. Chris quickly adapted, as always – earning her British teaching certificate and teaching at St. Peter Primary School in Waterlooville, then later at the American Community School in Cobham. She returned to Owego in 1997, where she resumed teaching and also worked at the library until retiring and moving to Florida in 2016.
Chris’ legacy is the many lives she touched, minds she opened, dreams she inspired. Her students were always of the utmost importance to her, more like family than pupils. She called them “her kids,” and she advocated for them ferociously in any situation of adversity she found. Her generosity knew no bounds.
A viewing will be held on Sunday, October 11, 2020 from 2-4 pm, located at Hiers-Baxley Funeral and Cremation Life Event Center, 3975 Wedgewood Lane, The Villages, FL (masks are required and 30 people will be allowed in the building at one time). A Mass of Christian Burial will be held on Monday, October 12, 2020 at 8:30 AM, located at St. Timothy Catholic Church, 1351 Paige Pl, Lady Lake, FL. Burial will be on Tuesday, October 13, 2020 at 10:30 AM at Florida National Cemetery.