Deborah Milliken Christie


In the afternoon on Thursday, Aug. 26, 2021, Ms. Deborah Milliken Christie, an angel to so many on the Eastern Shore, received her wings and was called home.

Deborah was born of Ray Denham and Jeune Thomas Denham in California. Deborah grew up in Denver, Colo., with her new father, Samuel Milliken, and Jeune, and attended University of Virginia (B.A.), Brandeis University (M.S.), and Johns Hopkins University (Ph.D.).

She is survived by her sister, Kimberly Peterson (Eric); stepdaughter, Cynthia Jones Mahoney; her cat, Nasty; the two “best dogs ever,” Cody and Oliver; and a myriad of friends, all of whom Deborah took in as family. Deborah was an active leader and a go-getter in the community. In “retirement,” Deborah enjoyed purpose, and consistent with her altruistic nature, served the local community through participation in many civic organizations and boards at one time or another. Among those were the Chesapeake Bay Bridge-Tunnel Commission, Legislative aide for the second district Eastern Shore under representatives Scott Rigell and Scott Taylor, the Eastern Shore Public Library Board of Trustees, board member for the United Way of Virginia’s Eastern Shore, executive director of the Wallops Island Research Park, Wallops Island Regional Alliance, Northampton County Chamber of Commerce, the Jerry C. Burkhead War Memorial in Parksley, and most recently served as the administrator for the Accomack County Economic Development Authority. Her influence was felt across many more boards and organizations.

Deborah didn’t know any strangers and her vibrant smile and firecracker spirit brought energy to every room she entered. Deborah was always prepared to help and would always see things through, even against the odds. If the task was the right thing to do, she was all in. Deborah had told friends and family she was “ready and at peace with it” in the week before her passing, and true to form, passed peacefully in her home with her dogs and sister by her side. She will be missed by many and her legacy will continue to shape the Eastern Shore.

Family and friends will gather privately to celebrate Deborah’s life.

Arrangements are by the Williams-Onancock Funeral Home.
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