#childsafety | Christine Mazour Obituary (2022) – Columbus, NE

Christine Anne (Wilhelm) Mazour

February 10, 1951 – July 31, 2022

Christine Anne (Wilhelm) Mazour, self-proclaimed “rebel child” died at her home in Corpus Christi, Texas, surrounded by family on July 31, 2022. As was her character, she fought a brave battle with gastric cancer which she waged entirely on her own terms.

Chris was cremated and will be honored at the most colorfully attended funeral Mass at 11 a.m. on Friday, Aug. 12, 2022, at St. Isidore Catholic Church in Columbus, Nebraska. The family will receive friends from 9-11 a.m. on Friday at the church. Burial will be in the All Saints Cemetery in Columbus. A lunch at Wunderlich’s Catering will follow the burial.

Please celebrate her life by eating dessert first, wearing bright colors (especially anything tie-dye), grossly over tipping a server or booking a travel adventure.

Chris was born the middle of five children to Joseph and Loretta (Korus) Wilhelm on Feb. 10, 1951, in Columbus, Nebraska. She spent her early years establishing her rebel nature by blasting “You Don’t Own Me” and enthusiastically singing along until her Lesley Gore record mysteriously disappeared. She graduated from Scotus Central High School in 1969 and attended University of Nebraska-Lincoln until 1970, when she met and married Jim Mazour. Never one to run from a challenge (and probably because someone said she couldn’t), Chris later returned to college as a single parent, working full time and commuting 200 miles daily to attend class. Chris used the drive time to hone her skills at dashboard drumming, a true art form that she perfected. She graduated from the University of Nebraska-Kearney with honors and a Master’s of Science in Counseling. Chris was selected by her peers to deliver the graduation invocation.

Her greatest source of pride were her three children and later her granddaughter. Despite having terrible knees, she often sprinted down the sidelines during football games yelling “don’t look back.” Chris set records for the number of times she popped up to cheer during a marathon and answered every 2 a.m. phone call when one of her kids called seeking her advice. She was a second mom (“Mama Zoo”) to many of her kids’ friends and loved having her home as the gathering spot for all.

Chris worked as a licensed mental health counselor in North Platte, Nebraska, until 2001 when she moved to Corpus Christi, Texas, where she worked as a victim services counselor for the Texas Department of Public Safety. Again, probably because someone said she couldn’t, in 2007 Chris joined the FBI as a victim specialist in Houston, Texas, working tirelessly assisting federal crime victims including victims of bank robberies, mass casualties and human trafficking. She retired from the FBI in 2021 and returned to Corpus Christi. Her hospice nurses knew every detail about Chris’ children but were unaware of her professional successes. She was humble to a fault.

While working for the FBI was never dull, Chris’s greatest adventures involved globetrotting. From gliding in Hawaii, snorkeling the Great Barrier Reef, bartering on the streets of Florence, befriending fellow cruise ship passengers on transatlantic voyages to dune bashing in Dubai, she was always traveling. Chris was happiest lounging in sand or water with a friend or family member working on her tan, always with her trademark smile and sparkling eyes.

Chris was a talented artist and loved creating anything with color. Her tie-dyes were professional level and she adored teaching others her techniques and gifting her creations. She spent much of her last few months teaching her family and friends to create beauty, constantly reminding us that art was not a competition and there was no such thing as perfection. She professed that her last craft weekends were some of the best days of her life.

Chris was incredibly generous, and this was never more evident than during the holidays. She spent hundreds of hours finding the perfect gifts and when shopping she could never pass by a red kettle without providing a donation, often upon both entering and exiting the store. Giant bows, copious amounts of glitter, coordinating packages and friendly competition were all staples of the holidays with Chris.

While always positive and encouraging there were some things that Chris didn’t like. Green vegetables, Donald Trump, close-mindedness, social injustice, reality television, paying full price and being dependent on anyone.

Left to cherish her memory and figure out what to do with all her craft supplies are her children, Jason, (Stacy Wallace), Cory and Molly (Brett Piper); granddaughter, Sophia Mazour; siblings, Mary Ellen (Ted) Cremers, Mike Wilhelm, Chuck (Cheryl) Wilhelm and Jay Wilhelm; several nieces and nephews; and numerous friends who she considered and treated like family.

She was preceded in death by her parents and her ex-husband.

Memorials not necessary (but appreciated in lieu of flowers); contributions may be made to: North Platte Catholic Schools, PO BOX 57 North Platte NE 69103 (checks made to NPCSET, or Chris Mazour memorial) or apps.npcschools.org/donate-now to establish a scholarship in Chris’ name.

Condolences may be left at www.mckownfuneralhome.com

Published by The Columbus Telegram on Aug. 6, 2022.

To plant trees in memory, please visit the Sympathy Store.

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