Christina Phipps, of Neptune Beach, died of breast cancer Tuesday, June 15. She was 45.
When her cancer recurred three years ago, she stepped aside from her career as a personal chef and began providing yoga instruction for cancer survivors and persons still suffering from the disease. By 2009, she had expanded her classes to as many as three a day and was selected the area’s “best yoga instructor” by Jacksonville Magazine. She remained an active instructor until two weeks of her death.
Christina Phipps, a native of Tallahassee attended Flagler College in St. Augustine where she studied graphic arts. She received her bachelor’s degree in telecommunications arts from the University of Georgia.
After a brief stint with the Florida Association of Broadcasters, she worked in Governor’s Martinez’s office. After his administration, she worked in the Florida Department of Agriculture’s “Fresh from Florida” program serving under Ginny Herrema who had been the head chef at the Governor’s Mansion.
She came to the Jacksonville area as a special events and promotions coordinator for the Florida Lottery. When Jeb bush became Governor she launched her career as a personal chef. She appeared frequently on TV Channel 4 and was a food columnist for Jacksonville Beach Examiner until her death.
She met Gregory Crum in 1997, and they were married at Wakulla Springs in January 2000. After a brief resistance to his Navy career, she became his most insistent and enthusiastic supporter as he rose through the ranks to Chief Petty Officer. In January 2009, he left enlisted ranks and became a commissioned officer. He is assigned to the USS Taylor out of Mayport as an engineering officer. He was at her side when she died.
Best known for her sparkling effervescence, she was the personification of vivaciousness. Despite all the setbacks of her cancer, her good cheer and enthusiasm and her refusal to give in to the disease was an inspiration to everyone. Even her doctors and nurses wept at her passing.
In addition to her husband, she is survived by her sister, Jarrett Phipps (Roark James – her husband), and her parents Phyllis and Ben Phipps, all of Tallahassee. Donations in memory of Christina may be given to the Christina Phipps Foundation. The foundation trains instructors in yoga therapy for cancer patients and survivors and others with disabilities. It also assists those unable to pay for such instruction. Send the donations to 411 Florida Boulevard, Neptune Beach, Florida 32266.