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Obituaries » Christine Colley Bach

Christine Colley Bach, 88, of Hume, passed away on Thursday, August 30, 2018, in Front Royal.

She was born Christine Mary de Quervain Colley on July 1, 1930, in Norwich, England, to Constance Mary Colley (Greenwood) and Alfred George de Quervain Colley. The elder of their two children, she was pre-deceased by her brother, Alfred John de Quervain Colley, as well as her second husband, Col. Austin W. Bach of Hume.

Mrs. Bach was an avid equestrian. She was a member of the Old Dominion Hounds Hunt and an established riding instructor. Her love for horses began at a very young age in Shropshire, England. In her early twenties, she arrived in the United States to manage the riding program at the Woodhill Country Club in Wayzata, Minnesota.

She eventually became a U.S. citizen. While in Minnesota, she met and married her first husband, George F. Piper III.

Raising a family, she continued her love for riding by owning and operating a major riding facility with over 60 horses near Hamel, Minnesota. There she taught lessons, boarded horses and ran competitive events. She was one of the founding members of the Long Lake Hounds, Minnesota’s only fox hunt. To this day, in their travels through the Upper Midwest, family will inevitably bump into someone, only to find out how “Christine” taught them to ride. She also trained and sold many competitive horses. One would represent the Canadian Olympic team.

Mrs. Bach was a member of the ECW at Leeds Episcopal Church in Markham, where she and her husband Austin were most beloved parishioners. A life-long gardener, she was a member of the Blue Ridge Flower Club, and an active member of a local ladies investment group. She had a flair for art and loved to teach and share her knowledge and appreciation of beauty with others, especially her grandchildren.

In keeping with her love of horses and Mrs. Bach's tremendous support of worthwhile causes, she was a leading supporter of the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute’s Wild Equine Program. She was a significant patron to the study of the Przewalski horse reproductive research at SCBI. The first foal ever produced incaptivity through the program was named “Christine” for her invaluable contributions.

In late 2012, Mrs. Bach was diagnosed with dementia and spent the past couple of years living at Commonwealth Senior Living in Front Royal, where she was a vibrant member of their Memory Care community and received outstanding attention from her caregivers and friends.

She is survived by her three children, George F. Piper IV and wife Janet of Orono, Minnesota, Nina P. Hahler of St. John, U.S. Virgin Islands, and John de Q. Piper and wife Tracy of Hume; her grandchildren, George F. Piper V and Virginia C. Piper of Orono, Minnesota, and Katherine de Q. Piper and John de Q. Piper Jr. of Arlington, as well as her stepson, Kai V. Bach of Carrier, Oklahoma, and step-grandchildren Allan G. Bach, Mechanicsville and Robert A. Bach of Cincinnati.

A Service of Celebration will be held for Mrs. Bach at Leeds Episcopal Church in Markham at 2 p.m. Saturday, September 22.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Blue Ridge Hospice Butterfly Club or the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute (SCBI) in Front Royal in her honor.
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