John Christian, Beloved Educator, Dies in Classroom

By Mike Mennard on November 14, 2007

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On Friday, April 7, at approximately 11:30 a.m., Dr. John Christian, professor of history at Pacific Union College, collapsed from a massive heart attack and died while teaching. He was 64 years old.

Verne Jeske, a former department head at PUC now completing his history degree, encouraged all students in the class to leave the room immediately while two students administered CPR until the ambulance arrived.

Dr. Christian was a popular teacher on campus, a favorite among students and colleagues. He taught for PUC's history and liberal studies departments. Lisa Bissell Paulsen, vice president for student services, has arranged for counseling services to be made available to all students present at his death.

A memorial service took on Tuesday morning, April 11, at 10 a.m. in the Pacific Union College Sanctuary in Angwin, followed by an interment at the St. Helena Cemetary.

The 1,500 plus who attended the funeral heard heart-felt tributes from Dr. Christian's colleagues, former students, current students, family members, and long-time friends. Dr. Malcolm Maxwell, president of PUC and personal friend of Dr. Christian, said, "Today we celebrate a competent teacher, a good administrator, and, most important, a dear friend... He died doing what he loved--teaching."