July 29, 2010

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Christine Oliger, peace activist and non-profit fundraiser

Christine Oliger,  43, of Chestnut Hill,  a nonprofit development officer and peace activist died on July 23 from complications of ALS. 

Mrs. Oliger was born in Valley Stream, N.Y. She attended West Windsor High School and received her Bachelor of Science degree in economics from Douglas College at Rutgers University.

After college, Mrs. Oliger went to work for the Bucks County Peace Center. It was there she met her future husband, Dian Lerman, and became acquainted with Quakerism. She attended meetings for more than 10 years before she and Lerman joined the Chestnut Hill Friends Meeting in 2004.

The couple moved to Mt. Airy in 1999, while Mrs. Oliger began working in non-profit development and special events planning. She worked for Woods Services in Langhorne, the Historical Society of Pennsylvania and the National Havurah Committee.

It was while working for Havurah that she first began to have symptoms of ALS. She was diagnosed two and a half years ago. She and her husband moved into a first floor apartment on Mermaid Lane across from the Chestnut Hill Friends’ meeting house.

When she died, she was surrounded by her family and friends,  Lerman said. “When Christine accepted the Community Beacon Award (from the Neighborhood Interfaith Movement) she quipped, ‘I feel more like a warning light,”’ Lerman said. “This quintessential comment from the ever self-effacing Chris perfectly illuminates her character of selfless work for others.  Whether conducting a book drive for the Fairhill community schools, continually participating in the peace vigil at the top of the hill, or volunteer cooking for the homeless, her giving spirit and humor never failed.”

A memorial service is being planned for a future date to be held at the Chestnut Hill Friends Meeting.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to The ALS Association

Greater Philadelphia Chapter, 321 Norristown Road, Suite 260, Ambler, PA 19002, or the Chestnut Hill Friends Meeting Building Fund, 100 Mermaid Lane, Philadelphia, PA 19118. - JK


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