Sunday, October 16, 2011

William John Christie, II (1918-2011)

Denise's father, William John Christie, II, died peacefully this morning at about 5:15 Pacific time. He was 93 and had enjoyed life--at least until the last several days. Due primarily to the efforts of his younger daughter, Michele, and his son, William John Christie, III, he had maintained a good quality of life at home until his recent hospitalization.

Bill was a loving father to his three children and husband to Audrey (Paepke) who predeceased him in 1995. After 50 years of marriage they both looked good (above). He left eight grandchildren. Until the last few days he enjoyed watching any of his nine great-grandchildren play even though he couldn't remember whose kids they were. They range in age from almost 17 years to one born the last week during his hospitalization.

He was a veteran of WWII and worked over 30 years for the Department of Defense Audit Agency in Germany and the US. His unit landed on the coast of France two days after D-Day. The next couple of days must have been horrific because he permanently erased them from his memory. Of the period he said, "All I know is that I must have done my job. I was 1st Sergeant of my unit when we landed and I was still 1st Sergeant two days latter. If I hadn't done my job, I wouldn't have still been 1st Sergeant." A celebration of his life will be scheduled in the coming weeks.

When I first started researching my father-in-law's ancestry a couple of decades ago, his auditor's interest on correct detail came to the fore. He told me that if I found any CHRISTYs who spelled their name with a "y" I should ignore them because his family had always spelled the name CHRISTIE. A few weeks later I showed him a 1920 census record in which he debuted as 22 month old "William Cristy 1 10/12."  Bill looked at the record for a long minute. Then he looked at the record again and then looked at me and said, "I guess I should leave you alone because you obviously know more about what you are doing than I do." He kept to his word. He was always interested in my finds, but never again tried to direct my research efforts.


  1. Tom Christie would like the world to know this about hos brother: During WWii, we managed to meet up in France and later on in the Netherlands and Belguim. the last time I saw him in Europe dueling the war, he visited me in Germany with information. That he wou
    D be going home sooner than I would. he later went to the east in Germany and ironically, me unit was selected to go to the States with the eventual destination being Japan. my unit landed in NY on the second day of July 1945. however, Bill managed to get home in late KJuly. And his wife, Audrey, informed him that I had been home two weeks before him. So we had another reunion in Chicago. Bill was two years older than I so naturally, though out our lifetime, we maintained an exclusively close relationship as dear brothers. I am very upset about his passing and it take some time for me to get over his passing. I loved him dearly and will always miss him. But I know he is in good hands now. - Thomas McLaren Christie, Sr., October 16, 2011

  2. Tom Christie has a correction. It was not East Germany that Bill went to, but Czechlosovakia.

  3. The above picture was taken at the 50th wedding anniversary celebration for Tom and Marie (Slye) Christie at Canyon Lake. This was about two months after Bill and Audrey reached the 50 year milestone.

    Keep the memories coming.

  4. My earlier version of this page was done too quickly and too soon after a very hectic night. When I wrote it I mistakenly listed Bill's birth year as 1913. That was the birth year of my dad who died in 2006 also at age 93. I apologize for the misleading information. It has been corrected above.

  5. So sorry for your loss, Denise (and Dr. D.).