Christine Beauchamp Petitti, 58, passed away at home on November 8, 2020, following a courageous battle for almost 3 years with breast cancer, with her husband, brother Bruce and friends by her side. Christine was born April 26, 1962 in Detroit, Michigan, the youngest child and only daughter to James and Marilyn Beauchamp, who both preceded her in death. A devout Catholic who loved the Lord, we know she has passed into the arms of the Angels in Heaven.
Christine was an active member of St. Raymond Catholic Church and loved signing with the church choir. Her religious life was full of the teachings of Christ. Her husband and Christine came back from a two week Pilgrimage to Fatima in Portugal. This was a profound experience she carried with her to the end.
In 1989, Christine married the love of her life, Robert Petitti, who survives, along with her beloved cats, Thor and Ullr. She has two brothers: Bruce and David. Her brothers with their wives live in the Phoenix area. Numerous nieces and nephews are scattered about the US. Christine and Robert have lived in Palatine, Schaumburg and Winfield, Illinois before moving to the Washington D.C. area in 2013. Christine also learned farming in Mongo Indiana on the Petitti farm.
She demonstrated with her commitment to service in the village of Winfield. Christine served as an elected member of the Village Council in Winfield for 4 years before moving to DC. She was active in mentoring and helping others at church and community
Christine and Robert enjoyed cross-country skiing, and she volunteered with the National Ski Patrol for many years. Many times, helping Robert across a finish line at a Nordic Race. They made wine each year and loved sharing their unique varietals with family and friends. Fall brought abundant harvests from the Petitti garden, and Christine enjoyed canning fruits and vegetables and sharing them with others. Christine was a friend to many, opening her home to numerous people each year for holiday parties and social gatherings to share a meal and celebrate life. Guests always felt welcomed in the Petitti home by Christine’s warm spirit, infectious laugh and beautiful smile.
Christine was an intelligent and driven person who devoted her life and career to serving others. She graduated from Purdue University in 1985 with a dual bachelor’s degree in chemistry and French. Her passion for emergency response and the safety profession began early when she served on Purdue’s rescue squad during home football games. As a member of Purdue’s chapter of Alpha Chi Sigma, the chemistry honor fraternity, she served as resident house manager for three years. This was the gateway to meeting her husband Robert. She actually initiated him in the Professional Chemists Fraternity, Alpha Chi Sigma!
During her early career, Christine was a chemist in the private sector, moving to the Chicago area in 1987. She later decided to pursue the safety profession, joining the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) in its Chicago office as a Safety and Occupational Health Specialist. In 2013 she accepted a position in OSHA’s Washington, D.C. Directorate of Technical Support and Emergency Management. Her desire to increase safety took on a higher level when she moved to the Department of Health and Human Services. Christine’s responsibility took on global significance. As Chief of Safety for the Department, her arms were around over 90,000 people worldwide.
Christine was honored by the U.S. Department of Labor in 2014 with the Assistant Secretary’s Significant Event Team Award. In 2015, she earned the Alice Hamilton Award for Education and Guidance by NIOSH. This award was for her guidelines implemented for the Ebola virus. She was recognized with the Secretary’s Exceptional Achievement Award from the Department of Labor for excellence in development and delivery of safety training programs.
Christine earned her Master’s degree in public health, specifically writing on Influenza was a scholarly work, from Benedictine University in 2009. She was a Certified Safety Professional, with too many Certifications and awards to start listing. She was a member of Sigma Beta Delta, the International Honor Society in Business, Management and Administration. She was a certified member of the Board of Certified Safety Professionals and a member of the American Society of Safety Engineers. She was a volunteer first aid trainer for the American Red Cross and a volunteer Safety Officer and ICS Trainer for the Winfield (IL) Emergency Management Agency. Let’s not forget her in blizzard conditions with a 40 pound pack on ski’s for the National Ski Patrol.
Christine was an inspiration to many as she fought her rare cancer with a vengeance, never letting it sap her spirit. She always had a positive attitude as she went through a difficult course of surgery and numerous painful treatments since her diagnosis in 2018. Her fighting spirit will be remembered as an important part of the incredible woman that she was throughout her entire life. Countless friends will miss her deeply, and especially the love and affection she shared with those of us who knew her best.
A memorial service will be held on Friday, November 13th at Everly Wheatley Funeral Home, Alexandria, Virginia, from 10am until 5pm.
Memorial donations may be made in Christine’s name to:
Cat Guardians Inc. 501(C)3 : 932 E. St. Charles Road, St. Charles, IL., 60148, www.catguardians.org .
In lieu of flowers, gifts in memory of Mrs. Christine B. Petitti may be directed to support Dr. Racquel Nunes at the Johns Hopkins Kimmel Cancer Center. Please make checks payable to Johns Hopkins University. Gifts may be mailed with a memo indicating that this gift is in memory of Mrs. Christine B. Petitti to the Johns Hopkins Kimmel Cancer Center, PO Box 17029 Baltimore, MD 21297-1029 or make a gift online at www.hopkinscancerresearch.org
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