Christina May Taran

Date of Birth

January 26th, 1920

Date of Death

December 3rd, 2016

Memorial Meeting

University Friends Meeting


Christina May Lahmer was born as a twin on January 26, 1920 in Niagara on the Lake, Ontario, Canada. In 1925 the family moved to Victoria, BC, where Christina grew up with her three siblings.

Christina's life calling was nursing. After nursing school at the Royal Jubilee Hospital in Victoria, Chris joined the Canadian contingent of  registered nurses who were pioneers in treating war injuries.  She served at the Joint Canadian British Naval Base Hospital in Bermuda during the Battle of the Atlantic campaign.  After the war, she came to Seattle for advanced training at the University of Washington, where she met and married John Carlisle Taran in 1948. They settled in the University District of Seattle and lived there for nearly 60 years.

Christina pursued a triple career: raising three children, becoming a public health specialist, and remaining a lifelong community activist. She and John had three children: Patrick, Malcolm and Theresa. Once the children were off to school, she obtained a Bachelors degree and a Masters in Public Health at the University of Washington. For two decades, Christina was the health services nurse at Meany and Eckstein Middle Schools.

She joined University Friends Meeting in 1962 along with her three children. She was an active member with long service on Oversight and Peace and Social Concerns committees. She attended meeting regularly, the last time just two weeks before her death. Several faithful Friends served on her Care Committee and brought her to Meeting during her last years.

Christina taught respect for people and for that of God in every person by words, by example and by deeds. She was an anti-racist, internationalist, and peace activist. She worked with the American Indian Women's Service League in Seattle from its early days in 1958. She was an environmentalist, active in neighborhood activities. She demonstrated vividly her lifelong commitment to peace and nonviolence, joining protest marches and vigils calling for the US to stop its devastation in SE Asia.

She always held her larger family high on the agenda.  Holiday times were extended family visits in Oregon and British Columbia. In 1958 Christina found a nine acre waterside farm on southern Puget Sound, where the family spent summers and weekends while the kids were growing up. She gave her children the experience of country living and working as well as city dwelling.  In 1960, Christina and John made a six-month journey through Europe, Soviet, southern and southeast Asia, and the Pacific. She was also both host and traveler for more than 30 years with SERVAS, a worldwide cultural exchange network to foster peace, goodwill and mutual respect.

In the early 1970s Christina founded a family revenue property business featuring two rooming houses for UW students, always filled with young men and women 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.

For many years she enjoyed folk dancing in many traditions at Seattle folk dancing clubs, walked regularly around Green Lake, traveled annually to Europe with John and was renowned in many communities for her seemingly endless supply of colorful jokes.

In later years she and John retired to the Ida Culver retirement community in their home neighborhood. After John's death and as her needs changed she moved to the Garden View Residential Care Facility in Shoreline. She died peacefully December 3, 2016.

A loving memorial celebration of her life was held on January 29, 2017 at University Friends Meeting in Seattle. It was well attended by extended family, and by many from those families that she had helped settle in their new country.