MACHIAS - Christine Augusta Holcombe, age 97, died peacefully December 30 at her home in Machias, Maine, surrounded by family. She was born August 28, 1918 in Trenton, NJ. She was the youngest child of George L. Thompson and Olivia Payran Thompson and was married to the late E. Fred Holcombe.
She was a 1936 graduate of Trenton Central High School and a 1941 graduate of Trenton State Teachers' College with a bachelor's degree in Music Education. Christine began piano lessons at age 5. Through her school years she played xylophone, violin and timpani, studied organ and attended a summer high school program at Julliard. She had a short career in teaching classroom music and was involved in church music all her life. She was assistant choir director/rehearsal accompanist at Grace Lutheran Church, Trenton, substitute organist at various churches, participated in church handbell choirs in Trenton and Machias and was the organist for Whitneyville Congregational Church.
She was employed by Educational Testing Service, Princeton, for 20 years. After retirement, she and her husband, Fred, enjoyed travel and time at Fulton Lake, Northfield, Maine, and later became residents of Machias, Maine. She was a longtime member of St. Paul United Methodist Church, Trenton, and in Maine had attended Center Street and Whitneyville Congregational Churches.
During her college years she was selected as the music counselor at Camp Mesacosa in Corinth, NY. The experience of those summers fostered her love of nature and living in the outdoors. Skills learned at Mesacosa helped her establish family camping routines at Fulton Lake. Her daughters spent summers at Camp Mesacosa and the songs and traditions became part of family lore. She was still singing the camp songs until she died.
Christine had a sharp mind and a quick wit. She entertained those around her with amusing tales and humor. She was an early adopter of the personal computer, acquiring a Radio Shack model in the 1980's, and enjoyed creating personal greeting cards, genealogy and address databases as well as playing games and reading obituaries online.
Christine will be sorely missed and lovingly remembered by family, friends and caregivers. She was preceded in death by her husband of 65 years, E. Fred Holcombe, and her siblings. She is survived by children, Ann H. Sharp and husband Phillip of Newton, MA, Judith H. Smith of Somerville, NJ, Linda J. Holcombe of Littleton, MA, Spencer Keith Holcombe of Ewing, NJ, Jon N. Holcombe of Machias, ME and Marion E. Holcombe of Ewing, NJ., 12 grandchildren and 10 great-grandchildren. There will be a memorial service at Whitneyville Congregational Church and interment in Holcombe Riverview Cemetery, Lambertville, NJ, at the convenience of the family. Memorial contributions may be made to Whitneyville Congregational Church in Whitneyville, ME.
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