Christine Wainwright

Obituary of Christine Wainwright

Christine Wainwright, known to all as Nina, passed away on June 26, 2020 having waged a brave, three year long battle with cancer. She was surrounded by her daughter, Alex, her fiancé, John H. (Skip) Warvel III and close friends. Nina was the daughter of the late Nicholas Biddle Wainwright and Christine (Tina) Henry Wainwright of Gwynedd, PA. Nina was born in Philadelphia, PA, graduated cum laude from both Germantown Academy and Trinity College in Hartford, CT. She earned her MBA from The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. 


After receiving her MBA, she began her storied career in corporate bond sales at Lehman Brothers in NYC where, as a role model for young women in the world of finance, she rose to the position of Managing Director, an extraordinary accomplishment for a woman at that time. Following her retirement from Lehman Brothers she acted as a

consultant for the Rockefeller Foundation.


Nina had a lifelong love for music. She starred in college musicals such as Kiss Me Kate and was the Director of the Wharton Follies while pursuing her MBA. In New York City, she was an active member of the Blue Hill Troupe, and she was on the board of the Singer’s Forum. When she moved to Princeton, she became active with the Princeton Symphony. As a member of the PSO board, she founded the Pops Series which remains one of the highlights of Princeton’s musical events. As a member of the Westminster Choir College Dean’s Advisory Council, she was involved with strategic planning of the College. She created the Philip A. Campanella Memorial Scholarship as an endowment to support Westminster Choir College undergraduate voice majors with a minor in musical theater. In collaboration with Phil, her friend, mentor and accompanist, she recorded the album If I Ever Love Again, a valued keepsake for family and friends.


Nina also sat on the board of Andalusia and contributed greatly to the museum which was her family’s ancestral home. Nina was devoted to Andalusia and was a generous benefactor for many years. She took great pride in assisting and advising on the upkeep and horticulture of the property, as well as the family genealogy.


Nina was a passionate athlete and outdoors enthusiast. She was an accomplished figure skater, tennis player, and loved to ski and hike the mountains near her home in Beaver Creek, Colorado. Nina was an experienced equestrian who enjoyed practicing dressage with her horse, Nobby, locally and in the summers exploring on horseback the mountains of Wyoming near her favorite ranch. Her love of nature was reflected in the gardens she lovingly created at her home which were enjoyed by many from her porch. 

Nina’s friends were her family. She drew them close to her with her natural charm, generosity, infectious humor, and loyalty. She never judged differences; she celebrated them. Nina often said her friends were a prism; they reflected the many facets of what she felt was meaningful in life. Those who were part of her sisterhood were grateful. Nina’s greatest joy and accomplishment was her daughter, Alex. She carries and exudes the grace of her mother. 


Christine Wainwright is survived by her daughter, Alexandra Henry Wainwright Sowanick, of Princeton, NJ, her fiancé, John H. Warvel, III, her beloved dog, Baxter, her cousins Richard S. Auchincloss, Jr. of St. David’s, PA, Thomas F. D. Auchincloss of St. David’s, PA, Dorothea H. Schnorr of Philadelphia, PA, Ansie S. Monaghan of Princeton, NJ, and James C. Biddle, of Bryn Mawr, PA.


A private family service was held near her family home in Gwynedd, PA.


In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Glioblastoma Foundation, P.O. Box 62066, Durham, N.C., 27715  (email:;  or SAVE, a friend to homeless animals, 1010 Rt 601, Skillman, NJ, 08558 (email:

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