Taran—Christina May Lahmer Taran, 96, on December 3, 2016, in Edmonds, Wash. A twin, Christina was born on January 26, 1920, in Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario, Canada. In 1925 her family moved to Victoria, B.C., Canada, where she grew up with three siblings. After nursing school at the Royal Jubilee Hospital in Victoria, she joined the registered nurses in the First Canadian Contingent, who pioneered the treatment of war injuries, and served at the joint Canadian–British Royal Naval Hospital in Bermuda during the Battle of the Atlantic campaign. After the war, she moved to Seattle for advanced training at University of Washington (UW), where she met and married John Carlisle Taran in 1948. They settled in Seattle’s University District.
Once her children began school, Christina earned a bachelor’s and a master’s in public health from UW and worked with the American Indian Women’s Service League in Seattle from its early days in 1958. Also in 1958 she found a nine-acre waterside farm on southern Puget Sound, where the family spent summers and weekends, giving their children country living and work along with their city life. In 1960, she and John made a six-month journey through Europe, the USSR, Southern and Southeast Asia, and the Pacific. An environmentalist active in neighborhood activities, she joined protest marches and vigils calling for the United States to stop its devastation in Southeast Asia. For two decades, she was the health services nurse at Meany and Eckstein Middle Schools. She and her children joined University Meeting in Seattle in 1962 and served on the Oversight and Peace and Social Concerns Committees. An anti-racist, internationalist, and peace activist, she taught respect for people and that of God in every person by word and by deed. Enjoying holiday visits to extended family in Oregon and British Columbia, she was also both host and traveler for more than 30 years with Servas International, a worldwide cultural exchange network to foster peace, goodwill, and mutual respect.
In the early 1970s she founded a family business with two rooming houses for UW students from around the world, whom she taught to live responsibly in community. In 1977 she and John sponsored a refugee couple from Chile: Mariella and Celso Galvez. She enjoyed many kinds of folk dancing at Seattle folk dancing clubs, walked regularly around Green Lake, traveled annually to Europe with John, and was known for her colorful jokes. In later years she and John retired to Ida Culver House retirement community in their home neighborhood. After John’s death she moved to Garden View Residential Care Facility in Shoreline, Wash. University Friends from her Care Committee brought her to meeting during her last years, and she attended meeting for the last time just two weeks before her death.
Christina is survived by two children, Patrick Taran and Malcolm Taran. On January 29, 2017, both her extended family and many families that she had helped settle in their new country celebrated her life at University Meeting’s loving memorial service.