Christina Grace Shilling:
Born August 27th, 1997
Died April 9th, 2021
On Friday April 9th, our dear daughter went to be with the Lord. She will receive her (posthumous) nursing degree from Johnson County Community College in Overland Park, Kansas where she was on the deans list and served as a class representative. She had a keen knowledge of complex medical issues and often assisted in obtaining diagnosis.
Christina’s greatest gift was her ability to convince people to follow her and accept an idea. She had a way to present issues that were compelling. She also had a spark in her that made it just fun to be around her. She was an artist and an exceptional writer, enjoyed all things squishy, and could be silly about it at times. She loved essential oils and things that smelled good, even the smell of a brand new book, when opened. She loved kitties, especially her cat, “Luna”. And not to forget her love of pizza and pasta.
Christina was born in Dhahran, Saudi Arabia at the local Aramco hospital. Unlike most of the other babies on the floor with large locks of dark black hair, Christina was entirely bald which caught the attention of many of the staff. Her dad took her on runs around the golf course which at the time was just oiled sand.
We returned to Cary, North Carolina where Christina got involved in a variety of public schools, Indian Princesses, hiking, and camping events. A favorite pastime was going “frog hunting” and getting frogs to live in our backyard mini-pond.
The family moved to Overland Park Kansas in 2007 where Christina attended Heartland Elementary for a few years Christina then got the opportunity to live overseas when the family took a two year assignment in South Africa that afforded opportunities to go on wild game drives, mountain hiking, beach vacations, and interaction with the local people.
Upon returning, Christina went on to Middle School at Aubry Bend, and high school at Blue Valley Southwest and Blue Valley Northwest, where she enrolled in the molecular biology CAPS program because she was attracted to the medical field from her anatomy class teacher. This was a precursor to her wanting to get into nursing school. She was also very involved in theater and art as evidenced by the amazing paintings that she has made along with having a passion for ice skating.
Christina had several opportunities to grow spiritually by participating in Journey Bible Church youth missions trips. Destinations included Black Hills Mental Health Center, Panama, New Orleans, Dallas, and KCK. Christina did a great job relating to the people she was ministering to.
Christina took a serious view on what it’s like to walk with the Lord. Some time ago, she went through the Book of James and pulled real life lessons from those chapters, and just recently, she studied the book of Philippians and personalized it to speak directly to her in her own words, written out in her journal. At 18 years old, she attended The Word of Life Bible Institute, where she studied God’s Word. We are comforted in knowing that her salvation is genuine.
Christina was an amazing mother to her 2 year old son, Zackary. She would sit and play with him and run around the house with him and they loved to cuddle together. He loved her so much and always lit up when Christina was around him. Christina loved her family with her whole heart, especially her only sibling, Angela and Angela’s dear husband, Kelyn.
Christina was a playful fun loving person, even with her friends. She has been described by them as adventurous, intelligent, energetic, daring, funny, and passionate. She was very loved by her friends.
Christina is survived by her 2 year old son, Zackary Stanley Shilling; her parents Stan and Paulette Shilling, her sister and brother in law Angela and Kelyn Crandall, grandmothers Lillian Allen and Judy Parlatore, aunt and uncle Lillian and Alan Collins and their children Allison, Casey, Toby, Josh and their families, aunt and uncle Tom Shilling and Liz Peterson, aunt and uncle Eddie and Robin Shilling and his children Jessica and Joel, aunt Debbie Shilling, uncle Steve Shilling, aunt Janet Shilling-Brewer and their son Nicholas and his family, aunt and uncle Albert and Maria Shilling and his children Ashley, Julia, and Albert Jr., aunt Dawn Shilling, aunt and uncle Ralph and Terry Arone, and their children Jessica and Dylan, great auntie Jean Newcomb and her children. The family of great Uncle George.
She is preceded in death by her grandparents Bill and Philomena Shilling, grandfather Ralph Arone, aunt and uncle Gina and Ronnie Bissette, cousin Michael Manzi and great uncle George.
Services will be held at Countryside Church, 14150 W 175th Street, Olathe, KS 66221 on 4/26/21, at 4pm. All are welcome.
Christina called Countryside her church home, where she was closely discipled by Pastor Mike Summers and his wife Karen, who she dearly loved along with many friends there.
In lieu of flowers, if you feel led, please contribute directly to Christina’s 2 year old son, Zackary Shilling. His grandparents, Stan and Paulette Shilling are raising him, and will be opening a trust for his future. All contributions will be deposited into his bank account at Main Street Credit Union, and then transferred to his trust fund, once established.
Contribution details are as follow:
Payable to: Christina Shilling Memorial Fund, Attention: Leslie Connor
Main Street Credit Union
14280 W 135th Street
Olathe, KS. 66062
Leslie will hold all envelopes for Stan & Paulette and mail to them weekly, so they can thank each person who were able to contribute.
We recently found a small toy canoe that Christina painted with our girls a long time ago.
I remember when they were painting, how modest she was about her obvious talent. She encouraged our girls and talked with them. She will be incredibly missed, but I know that she inspired our kids to be creative and to encourage others.
Paulette first of all I am shocked!!! Second I am praying for all of you and especially for her son. May the Lord give you comfort and love during this difficult time.
Christina had the best smile and sweetest heart. She was always eager to tell us about her journey through nursing school and which unit she saw herself on once finished. So happy we had the chance to know her! We are so blessed to be a part of zackary’s life
Paulette, I remember after my brain surgery she came with you to deliver that meal to us. I wish I was in KS to give you the biggest hug and cry with you my dear friend. My heart breaks with you. Love, Laura
What a beautiful testimony of Christina’s life. We are heartbroken for you, dear friends. We are so sorry for your loss. Praying God will bind you tightly to himself. Our love and prayers are with you.
Paulette and Stan, Shelton and I are so saddened with the news of Christina’s going home to the Lord Jesus. You both are in our hearts and thoughts in the days and weeks ahead. We remember fondly Christina growing in Saudi Arabia. Praying for you all as God embraces you and holds you close so you can hear His heartbeat. We love you, Dottie and Shelton Hubbell
I remember when Christina first came to Heartland Elementary. She was always such a light in the classroom. I specifically remember one day when it was show and tell and she brought all of her “homemade” shampoos and conditioners. We became friends for a short while and had a sleepovers together and would made more of our own bath products by mixing two different brands of shampoo together to make a new smell. I’ll never forget those days. Rest In Peace, Christina. You will be so so missed.
Paulette and Stan, Christina was a beautiful young woman, inside and out. She is rejoicing in the presence of the Lord now, meanwhile our hearts are breaking with you here. Praying for peace for all of you that are touched by this tragedy. Love, David and Anna Crandall
Paulette and Stan! There are no words. We are so sorry. Know that you are in our prayers. God Bless you and the whole family.
Christina will always have a presence here. As I walk or drive around the lake property I see her in so many places, Driving the golf cart, kayaking in the lake, playing with the fishing lures, jumping off the dock, creating crafts My heart is sore and she will always be with us in spirit Love you so much!!!
I was privileged to meet Stan, because of his heart for fathering. He came on our (Father’s in Africa) “camp connect” adventure weekend with Christina. It was a beautiful time of bonding for the two of them. I then taught Christina how to scuba dive in the wild African seas…. Dad Stan was present there too. These are just a couple of wonderful memories, and there were more, as I got to know the family. Much love and prayers from this side of the world. To all of the Shilling family….
Mr. and Mrs. Shilling — It has been many years since I last saw Christina, but I remember our childhood in Cary very fondly. Lots of memories frog hunting, jumping on the trampoline, playing in the snow, going camping for the first time in Raven Rock State Park, Skyping while you lived in Johannesburg… She was a very important part of my childhood and although it’s been years I am in tears knowing that she is gone. My heart goes out to you both, Angela, Zackary, and the rest of your family.
I have a finger painting that Christina did in 2008 hanging on my wall in my bedroom of the two of us at Wrightsville Beach. It has hung there for many years but if you would like me to send it to you to have something else to remember her by, please let me know. My number is (919) 608-6040.
Stan and Paulette there are no words that can express our sorry for the loss of your beloved daughter Christina. Just know that all of you are in our prayers.
Paulette and Stan, No words can express the horrible sadness you all are going through. We’re not supposed to outlive our children. Having said that, God must have really needed her in Heaven leaving behind a beautiful son and amazing family. I pray that God give all of you the strength to get through this difficult time. Christina is now Zachary’s angel watching over him. Hugs and prayers
Dearest Paulette and Stan, I am so shocked to hear of Christina’s passing. I feel fortunate to have met her at her Senior Musical, shortly after I sold my house to you wonderful guys. I can’t stop crying. My heart goes out to you with many prayers for Paulette and Stan, and especially for Zackary. Thinking about all of you — Connie Cooley
Dear Mr. and Mrs. Schilling-
Oh no, this is just too hard to believe! My heart is breaking for me and all of us who had the chance to know this darling girl and for your family. I remember Christina with such fondness from her days at Heartland Elementary School. I am sending prayers and love to you both, Angela and Christina’s son, Zachery! Heaven gained a sweet, beautiful angel!
However, much too soon.
Paulette and Stan, we just learned the news today from Annie. The entire McDarris Family is devastated. Annie and Christina were such good childhood friends. Christina was an extraordinary kind and caring friend. Last month Annie and I went camping in Raven Rock State Park and fondly recalled the girls first camping trip when they were around 9 or 10 years old. Dori and I are currently in Utah and this past week we thought of the Shilling Family as we drove through Missouri. Christina will always be fondly remembered and our heartfelt condolences go out to you. We are in total disbelief.
Stan and Paulette,
I am so so sorry for your loss! There are no words! Please know I am praying for you all, for Christina and for Zackary and that I am thinking of you all! Rest in peace, Christina.
Dear sweet family, my heart and prayers go out to you. May you feel my compassion as I lift you all to Jesus and you may you feel the Holy Spirit’s presence each and every day. God bottles up your tears and gives the greatest love that is impossible by any human being. We here on earth offer you love and support but Jesus is the ultimate giver of hope. I can’t imagine what Christina is experiencing seeing Jesus face to face. Much Love and continued prayers.
We am so sorry for your loss! We can’t even begin to imagine what you all are going through. Just know our prayers are with you. May God give you the strength to get through this. Christina was an amazing girl. I still remember when she would come to work with Stan for ‘Bring your kids to work’ day. She was always full of energy and life. We will miss her dearly.
Wishing you feelings of comfort, moments of peace, and memories of joy during this difficult time.
Paulette, I’m beyond shocked, Tam just told me the news today, I had no idea!! My heart aches for all of you!! Sending prayers and love to you, Stan and little Zachary!!
Paulette, Stan, Angela, and family, I was so sorry to hear about Christina’s passing. Please know my prayers are with you at such a sad time. I remember her creativity and Jade reminded me of her mixing different scents of shampoo to make her own and sharing them with the class. Let those sweet memories give you peace.
Paulette and Stan,
We are all thinking of you and praying for your family. May you have peace and healing. I know that Christina is with our Lord and watching over you and Zackary. God bless and keep you.
Paulette—even though I did not know ur daughter Christina, I am so shocked and sorry to hear of her passing! From reading the numerous comments, it sounds like she was a wonderful person and daughter. I cannot imagine what u and ur family r going through. Prayers for ur family? Toni Zaleski.
Christina had the unique ability to make a person feel happy, loved and accepted all at once. Such an incredible gift. Her smile and laugh was so infectious that people couldn’t resist. Christina and Maddie (and Lucas) had many good memories from playing in your backyard to getting goofy dressing up. Please know that our prayers and thoughts are with you Paulette, Stan, Angela, Zachary and all the other family/friends who are grieving.
Stan and Paulette and Family, I just heard and I am deeply saddened for your loss. I pray that you find God’s peace in these difficult times and take comfort in the fact that she knew Jesus.
I am so sorry to hear this news. I am thinking also of the dear, young Zackary Stanley Shilling who will be without his mother’s affections now. Thankfully he has you. You will bring so much goodness into his life.
Our thoughts and prayers continue to be with you and your entire family, Stan! We hope you are able to find moments of peace and reflect on the many gifts Christina brought to your family. Sweet Zackary will now fill your hearts and mind with the memories his mother left for you all.
Our family is so saddened to hear of your loss, and pray for comfort for you and your family and all of Christina’s loved ones. –The Lewis Family
Oh dear precious Paulette! I am so so sorry for your loss! I just found out the tragic news and my heart breaks for you. I am praying God’s comfort to your whole family. I remember taking Christina to K-life a few times when she was in high school and how she loved going and being with other young believers. Please know you will continue to be in our thoughts and prayers, my dear friend!
Oh my goodness. I can’t imagine what your family is going through. I am so sorry about Christina’s passing too early. Our family is praying for you and it is so great that she studied the lord.
Love to you and yours
I had the pleasure of working with Stan and know how important family is to him. It was heartbreaking to hear of this loss. We are praying for you and your family for strength and comfort during this difficult time.
I didn’t know Christina for very long, maybe only a couple of months. But my heart fell when I heard that she had passed. She was so sweet, so energetic, and always able to make you smile. She was very outgoing and encouraging to me, texting me throughout the week and checking in on me. She was so sweet and kind. She will be missed greatly. ❤
Dear Paulette, Stan and Angela, there are just no words to express my sorrow for the loss of Christina. She was a joy and will be terribly missed. Hugs to you all and her dear little boy.
Our prayers of love and loss go out to the entire family.
Praying that God will hold your grieving hearts as tightly as He is holding her soul!
Paulette and Stan,
Todd and I are without words after hearing of your loss of Christina. She and our twins were so tiny when we returned to Canada. Our hearts are breaking for you, Zackary, and everyone who love her. She sounds like such an amazing young lady!
God Bless you all. May Christina soar high with the Angels, full of life and joy!
Paulette and Stan, I taught Christina at Macedonia UMC, and still remember how sweet and beautiful she was. My friend Angie Cernilli shared the news with me , and I just want you to know how very sorry and sad I am for you both, and the rest of the family.
Paulette, I finally made your Dutch Almond Cake recipe recently and it was delicious!
All my Love,
To the Shilling Family, my deepest condolences. I am so sorry for your loss. May she rest in peace. Best wishes and you have my thoughts and prayers during this difficult time.
Dear Paulette, Stan and family,
Kelly, the girls and I are very saddened to hear about Christina. My heart goes out to you all! Please know we keep you in our prayers and think of you often. We love you and are asking God to comfort each of you and give you strength.
Kim, Kelly, Kayla, Julia, Amanda and Rachel Hansen
(Speech given at Christina’s memorial, posted for anyone who wasn’t able to make it)
Christina. Oh, how can we forget someone who gave us so much to remember?
Daughter, sister, mother, cousin, and friend to many, Christina was a bright light that lit up many lives, including my own. Christina and I are cousins; our dads are brothers. We are 4 months apart in age, but side by side in heart. Though our hearts are sore with news of her passing; know that she would not want us to stay stuck in sadness; but to step forward, live our lives to the fullest, and carry on her legacy. In fact, I have a quote from Christina herself. “Do not pity the dead, Harry, pity the living, and those who live without love”, she wrote this on her Twitter March 5th, 2015. The last time I saw her in person, Christina shared with me lessons on sympathy and empathy from working in the medical field. To paraphrase what she said, empathy is when we feel what someone else is feeling because we have experienced something similar. Sympathy is when we haven’t experienced it but we can open our mind to imagining what someone is going through. She said it is important that even when we can’t relate to someone else’s hardship, that we respond to it with love and validation. Sometimes, a phrase like “that must be so difficult”, or “that does sound frustrating”, can mean a lot to someone going through a trying time. Validating others even when sympathy is all that we can offer, is vital in propelling them forward into healing. I hope that everyone here remembers statements of wisdom from the heart and mind of Christina and continues to pass them on, in actions and words. I have numerous memories of her and I- summers at the lake, visits in KC, doing photoshoots, catching crawdads, swimming, doing makeup, painting nails- just to name a few and will treasure them always. Though we all miss her terribly, I urge everyone listening to remember her by being a source of love, wanderlust, and fun to those around you. Make people feel validated and heard. Take tons of pictures, paint your nails blue, savor every moment- oh- and love little Zackary to pieces. Keep her legacy, magic, and beauty going. I believe that if Christina could speak today, these are the words she would say. The words that I am going to say today are: until we meet again, dear cousin. I love you always.