Christena Louise Aiken, 100, Louisburg, died Monday, May 9, 2005.
She was born Dec. 17, 1904, in Louisburg, the daughter of Earl H. and Anna Greves Aiken. She spent her childhood on a farm southeast of Louisburg.
While in high school, Ms. Aiken completed a correspondence course from Oklahoma Business School in Enid. She graduated from Park College as valedictorian of her 1928 class and received a master's degree from Oberlin College in Ohio in 1932 with a major in Spanish. She did graduate work at Middlebury College in Vermont, at the Universidad de Mexico in Mexico City, and studied at various times at several other universities at home and abroad. Throughout her career, she worked in business and governmental offices as a stenographer and secretary.
She taught Spanish at Park College from 1929 to 1931, and was teaching at Bucknell University in Lewisburg, Pa., when she left teaching in July 1943 to join the foreign service of the U.S. government. For the next 24 years, she was assigned to the offices of the U.S. Military Attache at U.S. embassies in Latin America, Europe and Egypt.
Ms. Aiken lived in Mexico from June 1932 until late 1934. There she was a student, a governess-teacher on a large coffee plantation in the state of Chiapas and returned to Mexico City as a tourist guide with Aguirres' Guest Tours. In 1945, she was licensed to guide in Peru.
Retiring in 1967 as a researcher and analyst, she returned to her home town and had a cottage built alongside her mother's home. She was active as mission coordinator of the United Methodist Women, directing several mission studies.
Park College Alumni Association honored Ms. Aiken in 1967 as a distinguished alumna. The Department of Defense gave her official recognition with an outstanding employee rating and a performance award certificate for "Sustained Superior Performance."
She was a member of the YWCA for many years; the American Association of University Women and the Women's City Club of Kansas City, Mo.; the Middlebury College Chapter of the National Spanish Honor Society, Sigma Delta Pi; the National Society of Daughters of the American Revolution; and the United Methodist Church.
Archeology was her lifelong hobby, an avocation enhanced by years of residence in Mexico, Peru, Italy and Egypt.
Ms. Aiken is survived by 13 nieces and nephews, 35 grandnieces and -nephews, 56 great-grandnieces and -nephews, and six great-great-grandnieces and -nephews.
Friends and family may call from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m. Thursday at Runyan Funeral Home in Louisburg, with services following at 11 a.m.
In lieu of flowers, memorials are suggested to the Louisburg United Methodist Church or the Louisburg Library