Ione Christian

Obituary of Ione Z. Christian

Ione Z (Edith) Christian, 89, of Rochester NY, passed away on January 16, 2021. She was born in Olivia, MN to Helen M. and Walter H. Zimmerman on October 11, 1931 and grew up on a farm ten miles south of Bird Island, MN, where she was valedictorian of St. Mary’s High School’s class of 1949. She studied nursing at St. Catherine University in Saint Paul, MN; in 1953 she married David B. Christian and worked as an intensive-care nurse for several years until leaving to care for her young family. After raising eight children, in the 1980s she began a twenty-year career in real estate. She was a champion for mental health reform, including Kendra’s Law, and served in several offices, including president, for the National Alliance for the Mentally Ill–New York State (NAMI–NYS). She enjoyed classical music and volunteered as an usher at the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra. Ione is survived by her children Valentine (Pati) Christian (Churchville), Mary Christian (Brooklyn), Joel (Sue) Christian (Philadelphia), Helen Christian (Rochester), James (Kris) Christian (Pittsford), Anna Christian (New York), and Noah (Heather) Christian (San Diego), along with thirteen grandchildren and one great-grandchild. She is preceded in death by her husband, David B. Christian (1996), her daughter Barbara Christian (2021), as well as her sister Viola and brother Donald. Ione was buried on January 20, 2021, at St. Joseph’s Cemetery in Penfield, NY. Donations may be made in her name to NAMI Rochester at
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