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Christina Kakava


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Date published: 2/22/2010

Christina Kakava

Christina Kakava, 49, of Fredericksburg died Saturday, Feb. 20, 2010, of brain cancer.

She was born in Halkida, Greece, to the late Yiannis Kakavas and Erasmia Kakava.

She graduated from the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens with a major in Greek and English. She taught English at several institutions in Greece, including the Air Force Academy. She came to the United States to study linguistics at Georgetown University, earning a master's degree in 1989, and a Ph.D. in 1993, with Dr. Deborah Tannen as her dissertation mentor.

In 1993, she was awarded the Hannah Seeger Davis Post-doctoral Fellowship in Hellenic Studies at Princeton University. She began her career as a professor of linguistics at Mary Washington College in 1994, earning the rank of full professor in 2006. She taught courses in sociolinguistics, cross-cultural communication, discourse analysis, and language and gender. She published 20 scholarly articles, chapters and reviews in leading journals and handbooks in her field, along with dozens of presentations at national and international conferences. She was an expert in conflict, argument and identity in the oral discourse of Greeks and Greek-Americans. Christina was beloved by students for her academic rigor, sprinkled with relevant personal anecdotes, and for her warm and lively teaching style.

Survivors include her husband, Paul Fallon; her son, Yanni; her sisters, Kalliopi Kakava-Tryfonidi and Faye Kakava, both of Halkida, Greece; along with several nieces and nephews.

A service will be held at 11 a.m. Tuesday, Feb. 23, at the Nativity of the Theotokos Greek Orthodox Church with the Rev. John Katsoulis officiating. Burial will follow in Oak Hill Cemetery.

The family will receive friends from 6 to 8 p.m. Monday, Feb. 22, at Covenant Funeral Service, Fredericksburg, with a Trisagion service being held at 7 p.m.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made to Mary Washington Hospice Foundation, Hospice Support Care, or to the Nativity of the Theotokos Greek Orthodox Church.

Online guest book at covenantfuneralservice.com.