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Christa Helms Austin

Christa Helms Austin of Monroe, NC won her battle with breast cancer on Sunday, August 17th 2014. Chris, as her family called her, was an incredible mother, wife, daughter, sister, aunt, friend, and colleague. A beloved teacher of 20 years, she taught more than 400 children while at Aquadale and New Salem Elementary schools. Chris was as beautiful on the inside as she was out, and she would immediately light up a room when entering. She had an incredible work ethic and pulled the very best out of every student that she taught. Parents and students alike adored her. Despite her cancer diagnosis in 2008, Chris continued her positive influence on students, parents, colleagues, and the entire community in which she lived, and her positive energy and outlook will live on in their hearts as the years go by. Chris had an incredible servant’s heart, always reaching out to others going through the same situation as hers in order to offer words of encouragement. She was a lifelong member of Antioch Baptist Church where she was baptized as a youth. She had a strong faith and knew without a doubt that eternal life would be her reward.

Chris was born on September 9, 1971 in Monroe, NC. She graduated from Piedmont High School in 1989 and earned a Bachelor of Science magna cum laude in elementary education from Wingate University in 1994. Chris began her teaching career in Stanley County Schools in 1994 where she taught at Aquadale Elementary School for eight years and was awarded teacher of the year there in 1997. In 2002, she moved to Union County Schools, teaching at New Salem Elementary for the remainder of her career where she was awarded teacher of the year in 2006. Her colleagues have said that she was one of the most naturally gifted teachers they have ever seen.

Chris is survived by her loving husband of 18 years, Wayne, her children Hanna and Clayton, whom she would say were by far her greatest accomplishment in life, her beloved parents, Parks and Pat Helms, her adoring sister Monty Helms Coleman and brother-in-law Bill Coleman, whom she loved like a brother, her precious nieces, Tess and Sophie Coleman, who thought of her as a second mother, her sweet Grandmother, Faye Ellen Greene, and numerous aunts, uncles and cousins whom she always loved spending time with. Chris is preceded in death by both of her Grandfathers, W. Brice Helms and J.D. Greene, and her Grandmother, Velma Helms.

Visitation with the family will take place on Tuesday, August 19, 6:00-9:00 PM, at Gordon’s Funeral Service & Crematory at 1904 Lancaster Avenue, Monroe NC. A celebration of Chris’s life will be held on Wednesday, August 20, 2014 at 2:00 PM at Antioch Baptist Church, 6223 Love Mill Road, Monroe, NC. Interment will follow at Lakeland Memorial Park, 1901 Lancaster Avenue, Monroe NC.

The family welcomes flowers or memorial donations may be made in lieu of flowers to Antioch Baptist Church designated to the Youth Program where both Hanna and Clay participate.  The family wishes to thank all of the precious friends who have supported us so well over the years of Chris’ illness. We have been blessed beyond measure.

Life is about your journey and the people that you cross paths with and we are all better for having crossed paths with Chris.

Online condolences may be me made at www.gordonfuner