Christina Lyn McHenry, PhD

February 03, 1964 ‒ November 04, 2019

Galion, Ohio

“Optimism does not mean being blind to the actual reality of the situation. It means maintaining a positive spirit to continue to seek a solution to any given problem. It means recognizing that any given situation has many different aspects positive as well as problematic.” This quote from the Dalai Lama describes Dr. Christina Lyn McHenry. She believed in this helping humanity thru research. Dr. Christina Lyn McHenry, 55, of Ann Arbor, Michigan and former Galion native passed away November 4, 2019 in Ann Arbor.

She was born February 3, 1964 in Coldwater, Michigan and was the daughter of Donald L. and Lynn D. (Watts) McHenry.

At an early age, she was an enthusiastic Girl Scout. Christina attended Walhonding Scout Camp for several years, climbed the back-side of Pikes Peak and went spelunking in the Virginias. Christina helped start-up the new Lonestar Girl Scout Camp near Candlewood Lake. She earned many merit badges, including the highest Honor of the Girl Scout organization, The Gold Award.

Christina was a regional science fair participant receiving a superior rating with a perfect score. In addition, during her early school years, she was beginning her career as a researcher, turning the family home into a “Noah’s Ark” with her insects and animals. She was a graduate of Galion High School, became a member of MENSA and was a national Merit Finalist, top division and received a partial scholarship from PPG Industries, Inc.. Chris attended Bowling Green State University where she received University honors (Interdisciplinary Honors Program). While at Bowling Green State University she was a member of the Fencing Team and tried out for the Olympics. She also was an active scuba diver and enjoyed working out with Karate. Chris received her Bachelor’s Degree in Microbiology from Bowling Green University.  She then received a full scholarship to attend the University of Michigan where she received her PhD. in Microbiology and Immunology. During her career she published several research papers as author and even more as co-author. While at the University of Michigan Chris was nominated for University of Michigan Teaching Award, had a department fellowship, Department of Microbiology and Immunology, and a Regents Fellowship, University of Michigan. In her spare time Chris trained as an Emergency Medical Technician Specialist, held a Michigan License and worked for the Huron Valley Ambulance Company Training Division in Ann Arbor, Michigan.  She was a longtime member for the Society for Creative Anarchronism working as Chirurgeon in charge of safety and modern first aid during historical reenactments because of her EMT training.

After her graduation from the University of Michigan, she worked as a post-doc in ophthalmology and micro-immunology in several laboratories including the Kellogg Eye Center. Before her passing, Christina’s latest research passion was with the University of Michigan, Biomedical Core Research Facilities, Advanced Genomics Core Team, a group she cherished. She was an avid collector of unusual insects, stones and tektites.

Chris was interested in photography with published photos of Hale-Boop Comet. One of her photos of Hale-Boop Comet is part of the Night Sky Program in the planetarium, located at the University of Michigan, Museum of Natural History in Ann Arbor, Michigan. She had friends and relatives from Upper Michigan to Texas, New Jersey to the Mighty Mississippi and beyond with whom she stayed in close contact… She enjoyed people.

She is survived by her father, Donald L. McHenry of Candlewood Lake, Mt. Gilead, Ohio; brother, Patrick D. (Susan) McHenry of Galloway, Ohio; nephew Edward (Kat) Reichenbach; great niece and nephews, Kayla Reichenbach and Maximilian and Alexander Reichenbach.

Christina is preceded in death by her mother, Lynn McHenry.

A brief Memorial Service will be held in the Chapel of the Sunset Cemetery, Galloway, Ohio. Christina will be laid to rest near her mother, Lynn in Sunset Cemetery.

Memorial contributions may be made to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, P.O. Box 50 Memphis, Tennessee 38101-9929.

Richardson Davis Chapel of Snyder Funeral Homes in Galion is honored to serve the family of Christina Lyn McHenry, and condolences may be made to them at

  • I graduated high school with Chris and always wondered what happened to her. I am not surprised to read about her many successes. She was always incredibly smart and kind. I remember her fondly. I am so sorry for the family’s loss of such an amazing person.

  • Donald, Patrick and family. I am so sorry to hear about the passing of Chris. I remember her so well when I had her in my kindergarten class and always knew she would go far. My prayers are with you through this difficult time.

  • Don, I was sorry to read about Chris’ passing, I had only met her at Lynn’s funeral. I hope all is well with you, I know how much you’ll miss her. Take care.

  • To Chris’ family,
    I am a trainer at the Ann Arbor YMCA where Chris was a consistent participant in our LIVESTRONG exercise program. She worked hard and valued how physical exercise helped her feel better. She was also a tireless advocate for making our program as accessible to as many people as possible, whether that be lowering the price or adjusting the schedule. She wanted ALL to benefit the way felt she did. Our staff and participants are saddened by the news of her passing, and we miss seeing her here at the Y. She worked very hard to stay positive and take care of her health. Our thoughts are with her family.