Christine Hamilton Smith

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Family and friends of Dr. Christine H. Smith, Professor Emerita, California State University, Northridge (CSUN), mourn her passing on Dec. 20, 2013 as the result of a tragic accident that had occurred several days prior. Dr. Smith was born to Herbert W. and Nellie M. Hamilton, the third of three children, on Nov. 5, 1938, in Midwest, Wyoming. After a childhood rich in music and love of animals, Christine made her way to California where she enrolled in San Fernando Valley State College (SFVSC, now CSUN) majoring in Home Economics. Her job sewing costumes in the Drama Department at SFVSC changed her life forever because there Christine met the love of her life, Owen Smith, whom she married in 1967. Chris's educational career includes a BS degree in Home Ec. from SFVSC, an MS degree in Nutritional Sciences from the UCLA and a PhD in Pharmacology and Nutrition from USC-School of Medicine. She became a Registered Dietitian in 1978 and later (1995) a Certified Nutrition Specialist. Over the course of her career, Dr. Smith was presented with numerous awards but the Distinguished Professor Award was her most cherished. Chris, devoted to students, was the co-advisor of Family & Consumer Science's (FCS) Student Dietetic & Food Science Association for 21 years, and as the Director of the Didactic Program in Dietetics (DPD), she guided students through the coursework that academically prepared them to become Registered Dietitians. Even after her 2001 retirement, she remained an active member of FCS's DPD/DI (Dietetic Internship) Advisory Board. Active in the area of Food Technology, Dr. Smith was a well-received speaker at an IFT (Institute of Food Technologists) Annual Meeting and served its Annual Meeting Session Committee several times. Chairing the Southern California IFT Section's Scholarship Committee was also professionally fulfilling for Dr. Smith. Such dedication was honored in 2005 when she became recipient of the SCIFTS Distinguished Achievement Award. Dr. Smith's research focus led her to becoming co-editor of a popular reference work: "Food-Medication Interactions" (1978). She remained an active contributor to its biennial revisions for about 30 years. Retirement years were busy for Christine: volunteering as a dedicated tutor in the Los Angeles Public Library Adult Literacy Program; joining several "Chicken Ladies," who faithfully cared for the chickens in a project at a nearby elementary school; travelling with her husband to many magnificent places: Asia, Papua New Guinea, Australia, Fiji, Antarctica, Europe, and more. But those quiet moments that she and her husband had at home were always shared with a beloved member of the feline family. Hers was a wonderful and full life. Christine is survived by her oldest brother and sister-in-law, Robert B. and Joyce K. Hamilton, nieces, nephews, and cousins. On February 9, 2014 at 2:30 p.m., a Celebration of Christine's Life will take place on the campus of California State University, Northridge, Sequoia Hall, Nobbs Auditorium (room 104). In lieu of flowers, donations can be made payable to CSUN Foundation (memo: Christine and Owen Smith Memorial Fund); mail to Marilyn Magaram Center; CSU, Northridge; Northridge, CA 91330-8308. This fund will be used to support activities/projects involving students.
Published in the Los Angeles Times on Feb. 1, 2014
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