Obituary

Christine L. Wells, Ph.D

Posted

Age 80, died on February 20. She is preceded in death by her parents, Edythe A. Wells and Harold E. Wells, and her life partner, Anita Notdurft Hopkins (who died in 2002). She was born in Buffalo, NY and attended the public schools of Kenmore, NY. She received a Bachelor's degree from the University of Michigan, a Master's degree from Smith College, and a Ph.D. degree from the Pennsylvania State University. She completed a 2-year Post-Doctoral Fellowship at the University of California at Santa Barbara. Her teaching career spanned many years and many levels beginning with middle school in Grosse Pointe, Michigan in 1959, and continuing at Smith College, Dalhousie University (Nova Scotia, Canada), Temple University (Philadelphia), and culminating as a full Professor at Arizona State University in 1997. She was instrumental in establishing new degree programs in physical education, wellness education, and exercise science (Kinesiology). She was known as a demanding, as well as dedicated and enthusiastic teacher, who developed critical thinking skills in her undergraduate and graduate students. She often included her graduate students in her research publications and other writings. Chris was the writer of more than 100 research papers and reviews, and she was the author of three books: The Environment and Human Performance (with Emily Haymes); Women, Sport and Performance: A Physiological Perspective (2 editions; translated into Spanish, Korean and Japanese); and a trade book Healthy Hearts, Healthy Women. She held many elected professional offices often being the first woman in those positions, and received many national level awards such as The Wonder Woman Award, the Billie Jean King Award (Women's Sports Foundation), the Alumni Fellow Award (Penn State University), Distinguished Alumna of the University of Michigan College of Education, and the Citation Award of the American College of Sports Medicine. Chris practiced what she preached. She played all sorts of sports prior to Title IX, took up bicycling and running in her 40s and was nationally ranked in Biathlon (cycling and running) and Triathlon (swimming, cycling and running). She was passionate about the out-of-doors and an active "environmentalist". She made no bones about being a "tree hugger". She regularly skied, hiked, and snowshoed, and always said that was why she retired to Taos. Please do not send flowers. Chris would rather that donations be made to the Western Environmental Law Center or the HealthWell Foundation. A celebration of her life is planned for the spring.

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