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Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Virginia Christensen - A true woman of honor

"The Llama World Loses Its #1 Member

Virginia Christensen, one of ALSA's founding members, died November 5, at the age of 80. She was at home in Gardnerville, Nevada with her husband, Dick, visiting with neighbors over coffee and cookies, when she was struck by a heart attack and died instantly.

After purchasing, with Dick, her first llamas in 1982, Virginia trained and became one of the original ALSA judges in 1987, was appointed to the fledgling ALSA board of directors as its secretary, and in turn became one of the original ALSA clinic instructors. She remained on the ALSA books as Member #1 for the rest of her life.

For over 20 subsequent years, Virginia judged llamas and alpacas, trained new judges, presided over the ALSA judges' committee, served as a tireless volunteer for numerous lama enthusiast groups, wrote educational articles for a variety of publications, and tended meticulously to her own llama companions, many of whom still grace the field behind her home.This list of accomplishments does little to illustrate the true power of Virginia's influence in the llama community.

Her dedication to strong ethics and a moral commitment to her unending sense of responsibility toward the animals who brought her great joy over the years, made her an inspirational leader to countless people. In addition to ALSA, she provided expert support and formal work efforts to every major camelid organization in the country, including ILR, LANA, ILA and RMLA.In 2006, Virginia was honored by a three-day event in her name, The Virginia Christensen Classic.

At that time, The Virginia Christensen National Llama Welfare Award was launched, a cash award given to individuals who work for the welfare of llamas. There have been four recipients since the award's inception, which will continue in memory of all Virginia stood for.Virginia Christensen is survived by her husband Dick, her daughter Claudia, son Richard, her grandchildren, her cat Toonie, a small herd of llamas, and an enormous network of close friends."
Gayle Woodsum, The Virginia Christensen National Llama Welfare Award

As one of the National Llama Welfare Award winners I will cherish what it represents even more in honor of all Virginia gave to the entire llama community. I only had the pleasure of meeting her twice, but in those brief encounters there was nothing but joy, happiness, humor and passion in every word she spoke. Never one to pull punches, and never one to be vindictive in her comments, she will be missed by more than just those who own llamas. She was one of those rare women, who once met were never forgotten

1 comment:

  1. Beautifully written as usual, Gary. A great tribute to a great lady. Thank you!


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