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Christine Sauter-Milligan

Christine Marie Sauter-Milligan , 64, passed away peacefully on Thursday (June 6, 2024), at Clifton Springs Hospital and Clinic after a short and brave battle with small cell lung cancer.

Friends may call from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. Thursday (June 20), at the Palmisano-Mull Funeral Home LLC, 28 Genesee St. Geneva. A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at 10 a.m. Friday (June 21), at St. Stephen's Catholic Church, in Geneva.

In lieu of flowers, contributions may be directed to the Ontario County Humane Society.

Chris was born on Nov. 19, 1959, in Watertown, N.Y., and was the first daughter of Shirley (Dillenback) Sauter and the late Roy Sauter. She graduated from Carthage Central School, Class of 1977. Chris received her Bachelor's Degree in Music from William Smith College in 1982. She was an organist for multiple communities of faith, with the last 27 years of her career being the Director of Music Ministry at Our Lady of Peace Parish in Geneva. Chris planned all the music for Mass, directed the contemporary and children's choirs, taught music at St Francis-St Stephens School, guided parishioners in choosing their music for weddings and funerals and put her whole heart into creating the best Mass experience she could for the parish. She was the accompanist for the Dance Department at Hobart and William Smith Colleges for 25 years, and she was a very active member of the local theater community, acting as a pianist and music director for musicals at Geneva High School and with the Geneva Theater Guild. If she was not involved musically, she often acted as a seamstress and costume designer for shows. Chris was a talented seamstress and owned her own business in the 1980s and 1990s. She returned to sewing at the beginning of the pandemic, making masks that can still be seen around Geneva.

Chris was a long-time member of the local recovery community and was approaching 35 years of sobriety in September. She was a friend and mentor to many people over the years, and she volunteered her time in a variety of service positions. Chris was well known for giving her time without ever expecting anything in return. She was also known in the community as Chocolate Chris, having been given the nickname in early recovery after she began sharing her talent as a baker with friends. A gathering was only complete with a pan or two of her famous brownies.

She is survived by her husband, Frank Milligan of Geneva; daughter, Maureen McCollum of Geneva; son, Sean Britton-Milligan of Rochester, N.Y.; granddaughter, Olivia Marie Veomett of Canandaigua, N.Y.; mother, Shirley Sauter of Watertown, N.Y.; brother, Thomas (Grace) Sauter of Wanakena, N.Y.; sisters, Kathryn (Timothy Hopseker) of Brownville, N.Y. and Linda (William) Velto of Cary, N.C.; brothers-in-law, John (Marie) Milligan of Geneva and Ben DeSantis of Bronx, N.Y.; sister-in-law, Kathleen (William, Sr.) Kruse of Ossining, N.Y.; several nieces, nephews, aunts, cousins, and her beloved cats Ollie, Stevie, and Susie.

Funeral Home in Charge

Palmisano-Mull Funeral Home
28 Genesee Street
Geneva, NY, 14456
(315) 789-6613