Dignity, elegance, courage, faith-filled and strength all describes our beloved, Crishan Lynette Eiland Washington, born August 29, 1972, in Flint, Michigan. Her loving parents, Charles E. Eiland, Sr. and Catherine Eiland raised her along with her siblings in Inglewood and Fairfield, Alabama.
She inherited a rich legacy of faith and accepted Jesus Christ as her personal savior while attending church with her parents during her early childhood. This spiritual and righteous conviction continued throughout her adulthood. She was a devoted member of her church choir at the House of Prayer in Selma, Alabama and also active within her church community.
Aspiring to become a teacher as a young girl in the Fairfield School System, she continued to build upon this dream until she graduated in 1990 from Fairfield High School. Crishan first pursued her career goal to become an educator at Stillman College in Tuscaloosa, Alabama where in 1994, she earned her Bachelor of Science Degree in Elementary Education. Thereafter, she enrolled in Alabama State University where she earned her Master of Arts Degree in Elementary Education and an Educational Specialist Degree in Elementary Education in 2009 and 2013 respectively.
During her time as a student at Stillman College, she met her college sweetheart, the love of her life and her life partner, Willie Washington. On June 10, 1997, they united in Holy Matrimony.
Crishan genuinely loved people, and she was greatly loved in return. Her pride was in her family, church family, friends and students.
As a teacher, she loved all her students. Teaching was not only her dream career, but also her passion. She was a compassionate teacher to hundreds of children over the 24 year span she taught at Isabella Elementary School in Maplesville, Alabama.
Even when she needed to place herself first to address her personal health, she was concerned for her students. Her thoughts were about them because they had already missed so much due to the pandemic. It goes without saying, she was distressed but more committed to her students.
Heading into her 25th year as a teacher, Crishan knew it was nearly time to pass her teacher’s torch on to someone else. While she truly loved her Isabella School Family, she was excited about retirement and having more time to spend with her own family, as well as, her closest friends. Crishan loved life and realized that life is, indeed, too short.
The simplest pleasures in life brought Crishan the greatest joy. She was the number one fan and best cheerleader for everyone. Her cheerful and pleasant personality was shared with everyone she met. Her uncanny ability to find laughter - even in the most mundane circumstances - easily brightened the mood for everyone.
Additionally, Crishan loved singing and had joy down in her soul. She would break-out with a song without music, anytime, anyplace and anywhere.
Her creativity, as well as, her commitment had no boundaries. She was the voice to be heard among the crowd at every game, school functions and events. She was excited about every milestone of each of her children. If she had a love for it or was passionate about it, it was definite. Her love for chocolate (namely Snickers), was right up there with her being a loving wife, mother, daughter, sister, grandmother, sister-in-law, aunt, friend and teacher. It was undeniable she loved to love. If she asked, “What do you need me to do?” or “What do you need?”, she meant it with every fiber of her being. She was dedicated, reliable and dependable. Crishan was a servant at heart.
On Friday, March 18, 2022, Crishan accepted the greatest gift of eternal life from her Lord and Savior. Among those who preceded her earthly transition: her loving father, Charles E. Eiland, Sr. and her dearest brother, Charles E. Eiland, Jr.
Her amazing and fruitful legacy will continue through those she loved and the ones who loved her deeply: her husband, Willie E. Washington, Sr.; four children, Carissa (Kelvin), Calyn, Willie Jr., Caleb; two grandchildren, Carter and Braxton; her mother, Catherine Eiland; two sisters, Charrie and Caveeda; mother-in-law, Vinnie C. Washington; sisters-in-law, Temple Garner, Margaret Oladipo, Dr. Ruth Washington, Dorothy Washington, Michelle Washington; brothers-in-law, Walter C. Washington, III, James Washington and Jeremiah Washington; a host of aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews, cousins and close friends.
Crishan’s life was a living example of Ephesians 4:32: “And be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving one another, just as God also forgave you in Christ.”
May we all strive to follow Crishan’s example as she followed Christ. We are all saddened and deeply grieved over Crishan’s unexpected passing. But nothing catches God by surprise. So, we must all try to allow ourselves, during those deep waves of grief, reflect on who Crishan was and think about what she would say to us individually and collectively. The mere thought of her words, the expression on her face, the laughter of her voice and the songs she would sing will certainly bring a smile to our mouths, laughter in our hearts and joy in our souls.