Christina M. Athanasion-Smith, 40: Commended Air Force veteran

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PORTLAND — Christina Marie Athanasion-Smith, died Nov. 24 after a brief illness, at Seaside Rehabilitation Facility with her mother and brother by her side.

Athanasion-Smith was born in Portland Feb. 21, 1975, and graduated with honors from Deering High School Class of 1993. She married her high school sweetheart and relocated to Delaware with her husband. She studied dental hygiene and graduated from the University of New Mexico with honors in 2002.

Athanasion-Smith excelled at her chosen career and passed her passion for dental hygiene to others by teaching students at UNM. She joined the Air Force and earned several commendations that included SR Airmen of the Year Award. She and her former husband relocated to Highland, Illinois, where she continued to practice dental hygiene.

Athanasion-Smith moved back to Portland and, during her final days, worked with autistic children at Saco River Health Services and Hannaford Bros. After moving back to Maine, she witnessed the birth of her nephew, whom she adored immensely. She will always be remembered her by infectious smile, gourmet cooking skills, caring nature and her love for animals.

She is predeceased by both set of grandparents.

She is survived by her mother, Joyce Slater; her father, Charles Athanasion Jr., and his wife, Carol; her brother, Charles Athanasion III; her nephew, Nikko Charles Athanasion, as well as many aunts, uncles and cousins.

The family would like to thank Seaside Nursing Facility, the Veterans Administration and Beacon Hospice for their care.

In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Animal Refuge league of Portland 449 Stroudwater St, Westbrook, ME 04092.

Visiting hours will be held from 4 to 6 pm with a memorial services at 6 p.m.  Dec. 2, at A.T. Hutchins Funeral and Cremation services, 660 Brighton Ave, Portland.