She Will Forever Be In Our Hearts
CHRISTINE ANN WIDMAN
This site was created in memory of Christine Ann Widman. A loving wife, mother, grandmother, daughter, aunt, sister, and always, a devoted friend and host to all.
Born in Iowa
OCTOBER 9TH, 1946
Christine Ann Barker was born to Arthur and Clarine Barker on October 9th, 1946 in Ames, Iowa. She had two younger siblings, Keith and Patrice. Christine loved her Norwegian heritage and loved taking the train to Iowa by herself during the summers to spend time with her Grandmother and Aunt Emma. Arthur Barker was in the army which moved the family many times across the United States and into Europe. Although his assignment in the Korean War had a huge and difficult impact on the family, she often spoke of how she loved being an army kid, spending time in Germany, being around such a diversity of people and seeing so many ways of living. After graduating from the University of Hawaii in 1966, Christine married Dennis Cooper Widman on June 4th 1966.
Christine and Dennis raised four independent kids, Matthew Lisle, Erin Courtney, Joshua Douglas, and Ashley Summer. Christine was a home maker, often opening up her home to others. She created magic and beauty in everything she did. She had a deep love of gathering people together, so holidays were always unique and special. Halloween had home-made costumes, and decorations that have been passed down and shared throughout the decades. Christmas Eve was full of games and desserts, Easter egg treasure hunts were often at lake Sammamish with hundreds of eggs for cousins to find. She always had an open door, literally and figuratively where friends and family could come in and find refuge and connection. Her ability to form lasting friendships and meaningful connections with people created a rich life for countless people while supporting her through bouts of depression.
Christine had an avid love of writing and reading. She has prolific journals dating back as far as she could write, and spent many of her last years revisiting and reorganizing them. She participated in critique groups that created deep bonds of friendship and between the years of 1989 and 2003 she published six children’s books.
Having grown up as an army kid, Christine was a strong believer for standing up for what you believe in, and on top of providing support to all walks of life, she often wrote to her politicians. Her compassion for others guided her heart to be curious, her faith in the goodness of the Universe led her to have a deep trust in her own intuition.
Christine’s dream of running a bed and breakfast came to fruition in 2002 when she and Dennis moved to Tucson, Arizona to open The Azure Gate. Together they created an amazing oasis for people all over the world to come visit. Many of their guests came every year for 18 years. The Arizona location brought to life Christine’s love of the desert and fascination with the Southwest ranchlands. It also allowed her to be an active Grammy to her two grandchildren Noah Alvin and Simon (formally Ruby) Summer Bessler.
Christine’s commitment and love for Dennis was evident to everyone that witnessed them together. Through thick and thin, they spent 55 fulfilling years learning and growing their love. Together they created ways of communicating that fostered their love, trust and friendship as they each followed their own unique path. One of Christine’s last deliberate movements was to pucker a kiss for her husband, her life partner, Dennis.
Christine was diagnosed with terminal cancer on February 4, 2021. As a believer in Death with Dignity, and one who was never afraid of death, she chose to remain at home for her final 6 months in the care of her loving husband and family. During this time she was able to see many of her family and friends including her newest grandson Bennett Cooper Casatelli. She died at home on August 3rd, 2021, in the peace of the desert morning with the sunlight rising and the birds singing.