Memorial service set for Christ

Published Jul 9, 2014 at 4:09 pm (Updated Jul 9, 2014 at 4:09 pm)

A memorial service will be held for Dr. Ronald A. Christ at 1 p.m. Saturday, July 26 at Christ United Methodist Church. Dr. Christ, 80, died June 25, 2014.

He was the beloved husband of Marcia E. Christ; father of Leslie (Craig) Stiffler of Bucks County, Pa., and Joan (Philip) Joson of Upper St. Clair; grandfather of Matthew and Katherine Stiffler and Christopher, Lindsey and Andrew Joson; brother of the late Robert Christ and Shirley Draper.

Born Nov. 14, 1933, Dr. Christ graduated from Baldwin High School in 1951 and attended Kent State University. He received his bachelor of science from the University of Pittsburgh in 1955 and master of arts in 1959, and his Ed.D. from Pennsylvania State University in 1967.

His professional career in education spanned 46 years. He began in Castle Shannon, teaching fifth grade. He then taught fifth and sixth grades in the Upper St. Clair School District. At age 27, he served as principal at Johnston Elementary School.

Dr. Christ became the supervisor of all elementary schools in USC from 1963-1969. In 1970, he became a professor at California University of Pennsylvania, teaching for 31 years, until his retirement in 2001. At Cal U, he taught research methods, tests and measurements, various methods of teaching in elementary schools. He also supervised student teachers.

In 1957, at age 24, Dr. Christ became the first boys’ varsity basketball coach in the USC school history. At that time, he was the youngest coach in the WPIAL. In four seasons, he compiled a 54-30 record.

Prior to 1957, students had the option after finishing junior high school to attend either Mt. Lebanon, Peters Township or Bridgeville high schools. As attendance grew, it became evident the township had to create its own high school. So in 1957, the freshman class was kept as sophomores and continued until they graduated in 1960.

When Dr. Christ became the principal of Johnston Elementary School, he resigned his coaching position since the district had adopted a policy that one had to work in the building in which they coached.

An avid golfer, Dr. Christ belonged to the Youghiogheny Country Club from 1986-2011. In 2011, he joined Ligonier Country Club.

Dr. Christ was also a member of Christ United Methodist Church since 1983.

If desired, family suggests contributions to Christ United Methodist Church, 44 Highland Road, Bethel Park, PA 15102; California University of PA, 250 University Way, California, PA 15419; or National Kidney Foundation, 3109 Forbes Ave., Ste. 101, Pittsburgh, PA 15213.

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