Christine Zarr

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, on the north coast of Liverpool, England. Christine was a natural athlete, a talented watercolor artist, and an accomplished pianist. However, what Christine loved the most was to read, which 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 a friend in Formby.) They married and raised two children—Jocelyn and Anthony—born in New York and Washington, DC.  In 1968, Gerald joined USAID and in 1974, they moved abroad and lived there until 1994 (with the exception of a two-year DC assignment in 1984-86).

In their years overseas, the Zarr family lived and worked in Pakistan, Tunisia, Ghana, Egypt, Haiti and Bulgaria. In each of these assignments, Christine immersed herself in the history, local culture and geography of each country and explored the natural and historic sites. In Egypt, she and Jerry enjoyed sailing on sunset cruises on the Nile, while in Haiti taking mountain walks to colonial era forts and citadels (as well as sailing their own small boat named Sac Passe or “What’s Up!”)  During their last assignment, Bulgaria, Christine took a role as Community Liaison Officer in the US Embassy at a fascinating time when Bulgaria and their people were emerging from the grip of communism.  Christine learned Bulgarian, organized events and trips to enhance cultural exchange, and received an award from the US State Department in 1994 for her work.

After their return to Washington, DC in 1995, Christine worked as a licensed DC 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. She was a past president of the Association of American Foreign Services Women, now the Associates of the American Foreign Services 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 many loving family members in England.   Interment will take place at Oak Hill Cemetery in Georgetown.

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