Miriam McKeefery Uphouse Christensen of Grace Village Retirement Community, Winona Lake, Ind., died at 6:25 p.m. on Saturday, January 17, 2015, at Grace Village Health Care at the age of 97.
She was born on September 10, 1917 in Philadelphia, Pa., to William James McKeefery and Anna (Reichelt) McKeefery. On November 4, 1939, she was married to Dr. Norman Henry Uphouse. They were married for 45 years when he died on February 1, 1985. She then remarried on November 27, 2004 to David Christensen, who died in March, 2014.
Miriam received her certificate from Banks Business College in Philadelphia in 1936; graduated in 1938 from the Bible Institute of Pennsylvania; in 1952 became an LPN from Kirkman School in Chattanooga, Tenn.; received her degree from Grace College in Winona Lake, Ind., in 1963, and her master’s from St. Francis University in Fort Wayne, Ind., in 1972.
She worked as an assistant in the Dean’s office of Bryan College in Dayton, Tenn. from 1945-1952. From 1952-1960, she worked as an LPN in a physician’s office and at a hospital. Miriam became the Associate Dean of Students at Grace College and Seminary in 1964 and remained in that position until 1985 when she retired.
Her memberships included National Association of Women Deans, Administrators, and Counselors; Indiana Association of Women Deans, Administrators, and Counselors; Association of Christians in Student Development; American Red Cross; Altrusa Club of Warsaw; AAUW of Warsaw; Winona Lake Literary Club; and the Winsome Women Retreat Staff in 1984.
Miriam had received many honors throughout her life. In 1977 she was Indiana Merit Mother of the year; 1981 Grace College Alumna of the Year; was in Who’s Who of American Women in 1983-1984; in 1985 received the Citation of Distinction – NAWDAC; and was Grace College Associate Dean of Students Emeritus.
Miriam committed her life to serving the Lord and was a member of Winona Lake Grace Brethren Church. from 1986-1996, she worked as a support missionary with Grace Brethren International Missions in Brazil and Africa.
She will be lovingly remembered by her three daughters: Deborah Ann (husband David) Wingard (Ormond Beach, Fla.); Johanna Faith (husband Alvin) Siebert (Signal Hall, Calif.); Abigail Elizabeth Graham (Ft. Wayne, Ind.); four grandchildren: Sarah, Charity, Seth, and Cotter; and three step-grandchildren: Shaun, Brooke and Erika. She was preceded in death by her husbands, one brother, and her son-in-law Dr. Dennis Graham, who died September 11, 2014.
No visitation is planned, a private graveside service will be conducted on Thursday, January 22, 2015, at Oakwood Cemetery of Warsaw and officiated by Pastor Bruce Barlow and assisted by Chaplain Bryan Benjamin.
Arrangements were entrusted to Redpath-Fruth Funeral Home, Warsaw, Ind.
Memorial donations in Miriam’s name may be directed to Grace College and Seminary – Norman Uphouse Scholarship Fund, 200 Seminary Drive, Winona Lake, Ind. 46590 and would be appreciated by her family.