Cover photo for Christine M. Rappleyea's Obituary
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Christine M. Rappleyea

October 12, 1990 — November 20, 2023

Christine M. Rappleyea, 33 of Northampton, passed away on November 20, 2023, after a fierce battle with stage 4 metastatic breast cancer. Christine was a warrior during her battle with cancer, a title she took quite literally as she approached her diagnosis with the same tenacity she showed when facing a challenging dirt bike trail.

Christine will be lovingly remembered by her mother, Wendy Meixell; father, Steven Rappleyea and brothers Michael and Vincent Rappleyea; Chris Walls, her husband; Ben Horvath, her companion, rock, and loving partner; as well as her extended family: aunts and uncles Cindy and Pablo Diaz, Lori and David Laporte, Mark Rappleyea, Nancy Meixell, Judy Meixell, Alan and Dodie Meixell, and her many dear cousins. Christine was preceded in death by her uncles Peter and Ted Meixell, her beloved horse Linx, and her cousin, Emily Meixell, who was her guardian angel in heaven. Christine also leaves behind her precious fur babies, Ella and Roxy, and her horse, Wrangler.

Born in La Mesa, California on October 12, 1990, Christine spent her 33 years on this earth living a life that was as vibrant as her personality and as adventurous as her spirit. Even as a child, Christine was drawn to activities that pushed her boundaries physically and mentally. Growing up, she participated in dance, gymnastics, figure skating and competition cheerleading, a fact that will surprise no one who knew her well. Christine had the spirit of a cheerleader, always ready to lift others up with her infectious laughter and positivity, and the drive of a warrior, always testing the limits of what her body could achieve.

After graduating from Northampton High School in 2009, Christine furthered her education by studying psychology at Kutztown University. She was pursuing her master’s degree in occupational therapy at Misericordia University. Her most recent job was at Curious Goods at Bake Oven Inn as a server, where she will be missed by the many friends she made there, coworkers and customers alike.

Christine's interests were as varied as they were exciting. She truly loved to be outdoors, from dirt bike riding, quad riding, and kayaking to hiking and camping, she was happiest when she was out in the fresh air playing in the dirt. Christine had a special place in her heart for animals. Her love for her dogs was only rivaled by her love for her horses. She had a passion for Parelli Natural Horsemanship and horseback riding, proving that she was just as comfortable in a saddle as she was on a bike. She even had a knack for raising chickens, which often provided comic relief when she filmed and narrated the chickens’ antics on social media.

Christine was an advocate, friend, and ally of the LGBTQ community. She enjoyed attending drag shows and her partner Ben recently threw her a surprise drag show birthday party complete with a proposal. If that had to be Christine’s last birthday on earth, there could not have been a more fitting way to celebrate her life.

When she wasn’t participating in her other activities, Christine could be found working on her health and fitness. She was dedicated to her CrossFit workouts, and she loved to go country line dancing with her friends.

Most recently, Christine’s greatest passion was riding her dirt bike. She accomplished so much in the past year and a half, and she particularly cherished the dozens of friendships she developed through the sport. Friendship, support, and camaraderie were truly important to Christine. She was ever the cheerleader to her friends, and she was drawn to others who showed up to cheer for her. Despite chronic pain and the side effects of treatment that left her feeling sick and exhausted, she claimed the 6th place finish in the East Coast Enduro Association, women’s division of the 2023 Enduro Series. Christine was a woman who lived by the mantra of "Puke ‘N Rally." It was her way of saying that no matter how tough things get while undergoing treatment, you pick yourself up, and keep going. Her last race was just in September when she rode 85 miles. There is a trail named in her honor called “Rappleyea Run” so that she may continue to inspire others to persevere and to be a warrior in their own fight with whatever is holding them back.

Christine M. Rappleyea was a woman who lived her life in full throttle, never backing down from a challenge or an opportunity to make the world better. Christine was adventurous, funny, and loving. She was a woman who could make you laugh until your sides hurt and then challenge you to a dirt bike race. She was a woman who loved with her whole heart, whether it was her family, her friends, her dogs, her horses, or the great outdoors. She will be remembered not for her battle with cancer, but for the joy, laughter, and love she shared with those she cared about.

A visitation will be held on Saturday, December 9, 2023, from 8-11 a.m. immediately followed by a brief ceremony at Connell Funeral Home, 245 E. Broad St. Bethlehem, PA 18018, followed by a procession to the burial at Bethlehem Memorial Park.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to METAvivor, a non-profit organization dedicated to increasing awareness of advanced breast cancer and equity in research and patient support, which was very near and dear to Christine’s heart.

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Saturday, December 9, 2023

8:00 - 11:00 am (Eastern time)

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Funeral Service

Saturday, December 9, 2023

11:00 - 11:45 am (Eastern time)

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