Christine Zarr, 1939-2020

Christine Zarr passed away at age 81 on Thursday September 3, 2020 with her family at her side. The cause of death was Goodpasture Syndrome, a rare kidney condition.

She was born Christine Worrall on February 9, 1939 in Formby, a pleasant English town on the coast north of Liverpool. She was academically oriented and had strong and intelligent female role models in her mother and aunt, Sheelah and Ethna Little, both medical doctors.Christine’s father, John Heath Worrall, ran a successful family property agency in Liverpool. Christine was a natural athlete, playing squash, tennis and golf well. Christine was a talented artist, producing delicate and refined watercolors. An accomplished pianist, Christine loved music all her life. However what Christine loved the most was to read, about worlds far away or long ago. She loved history books and stories of ancient kingdoms and exotic climes. This love of reading took her to Liverpool University to a degree in Modern History, with honors, and to her first job as a high school history teacher.

In 1966, Christine met Gerald Zarr, an American lawyer on leave from teaching law in Liberia who was staying with John Entwistle in Formby. It was a meeting that would drastically change the course of her life. On a cold winter’s day in 1968, she arrived in New York City to join Gerald and the young couple moved into a Chelsea apartment. In July 1968 she gave birth to her daughter Jocelyn. The young family moved to Washington D.C. where Gerald began working for the U.S. Agency for International Development. Her second child, Anthony, was born in 1971.

In 1974, the family embarked on a series of foreign assignments which Christine tackled with enthusiasm. From 1974 to 1994, Christine and family lived abroad with the exception of a two year home assignment in Washington D.C. Postings included Pakistan, Tunisia, Ghana, Egypt, Haiti and Bulgaria. In many of these places, Christine studied the local language, enjoyed excursions all over the country, and produced beautiful water colors depicting local life. Christine was a teacher at the American Cooperative School of Tunis and at the Ghana International School at her next posting.

In 1990, Christine and family moved to Sofia, Bulgaria which was their final foreign posting. Arriving just after the fall of the Berlin Wall, it was a fascinating time as Bulgaria and its people emerged from the grip of communism. Christine learned Bulgarian and immersed herself in the history of Bulgaria and the Balkans, taking a role as Community Liaison Officer in the US Embassy. In that capacity, she organized numerous events and trips to enhance cultural exchange between American staff and their Bulgarian hosts, receiving an award from the US Department of State in 1994 for her work.
this was symptomatic of Christine’s open and enthusiastic approach to other cultures throughout her life – learning languages, reading history, and actively engaging in local life.

After her return to Washington in 1995, Christine worked as a licensed D.C. tour guide, a substitute teacher in Montgomery County, and led walking tours through two of the city’s most iconic neighborhoods – Georgetown and Embassy Row. She also served as an enrichment lecturer for various cruise lines, giving talks on Atlantic, Mediterranean, Indian Ocean, Pacific and Caribbean cruises. Christine was a past president of the Association of American Foreign Service Women, now the Associates of the American Foreign Service Worldwide. Not surprisingly, she was a member of various book clubs, to satisfy her life-long passion of reading. Her family had a nickname that suited her well, calling her simply, the Brain of Britain.

Christine is survived by her husband Gerald Zarr of Bethesda, Maryland, her daughter Jocelyn Rock of Washington DC and her son Anthony Zarr of Grimaud, France. She is also survived by her granddaughter Zara Rock of Washington D.C., her daughter-in-law Rebecca Zarr and her grandson Alexander Zarr, both of Grimaud, France. She is also survived by numerous relatives in England and in Portland, Maine. Interment will take place at Oak Hill Cemetery in Georgetown.

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