Christina Tunney


San Francisco, Calif.

February 25, 1966 — April 5, 2019

Christina Suzanne Simpson Tunney passed away at the age of 53 on April 5, 2019, at her home.

Tina was born in Santa Maria, Calif., on Feb. 25, 1966, to Terry and Kay Simpson. Tina lived in California until the age of two when the family moved to Oregon. Tina was raised in Pendleton, Oregon, on the family ranch. She attended Hawthorne Grade School, John Murray Junior High, Helen McCune Junior High and Pendleton High School. While growing up, Tina was active in school and sports. She participated in high school athletics including track, cross country, intramural basketball, and rodeo. Her summers were busy with riding horses and harvest.

She was also very involved with the Pendleton Round-Up. She started out as a pennant bearer at the age of 10, and she was a princess on the Pendleton Round-Up court in 1985. She also was a part of Happy Canyon’s mounted quadrille for many years.

After graduating from Pendleton High School in 1984, Tina attended Stanford University, graduating in 1988 with a Bachelor of Science in biology. She then went to work for Oracle as a financial analyst from 1989-1997.

It was at Stanford that she met her husband Jonathan Evan Tunney. They married in 1993. They settled in San Francisco and had three sons, Jack (21), Henry (19) and Emmitt (16) (Cheddar). Tina’s children were her greatest passion. Her focus switched from her career to her children once she became a mother to Jack, Henry and Cheddar. She was able to watch Jack and Henry graduate from St. Ignatius High school and start college. Jack is a junior at Cal Poly in SLO and Henry is a freshman at University of Oregon. Cheddar is a sophomore at St. Ignatius High School.

Tina had a love for all sports. While she had never been exposed to rowing growing up, she joined the men’s crew team at Stanford as the coxswain her freshman year, but she quickly switched to the women’s crew team and rowed for them her last three years. She was on the first boat of the varsity crew team her senior year. Her interest in sports continued as she raised her boys. She helped advance club lacrosse in San Francisco, and she encouraged her kids to participate in both football and lacrosse. Tina was a founding member and board member of the Wildcat Junior Lacrosse Club. She served as a Northern California Junior Lacrosse Association Team Representative. She was a supporter of All West Lacrosse RAE Foundation and did fundraising work on their behalf. She made every attempt to attend all her sons’ lacrosse games. She made numerous trips back East to watch both Jack and Henry compete in lacrosse. She and Jono went to Israel this past summer to watch Henry play lacrosse.

While her sons attended Town School, Tina volunteered daily to serve lunches in the cafeteria. She chaired the annual fall fundraiser to raise tuition for worthy boys who could not afford to attend Town School for Boys. She chaired and worked on the Artwork calendar for many years, worked on the nominating committees, and she co-chaired the Admissions Open House Event for Town School. She was a Service Corps board member and worked as the VP of communications. Tina also volunteered for San Francisco Symphony and chaired the Young Generation Gala.

Few people embraced life like Tina. Tina made every event or outing a party. She lived life with a passion, and she was generous beyond a fault. She was smart, thoughtful, witty, tough and fun loving. Her strength and courage never dimmed even as she coped with cancer.

Tina was preceded in death by her brother-in-law Chico Tunney. Tina is survived by her husband of 25 years, Jonathan E. Tunney; sons Jack, Henry and Cheddar; parents Terry and Kay Simpson; brother Shaun Simpson; sister Tamara Simpson Dawson and brother-in-law Patrick Dawson; and nephews Alton Dawson, Terry, Tyler and Patrick Simpson.

She will be missed by Zazu. Tina is reunited with Chico, Kack, Bean, Red Spots, Tipsy and Copper.

In lieu of flowers the family asks for gifts to be directed to the Sarcoma Foundation of America:

A celebration of life will be held at the Simpson ranch near Pendleton at a later date.

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