Arthur "Art" C. Christman, Jr., 90, of Valle Verde, Santa Barbara, passed away at home surrounded by his family, Friday, November 16, 2012. Born in North Wales, PA, he was the son of Hazel Ivy Schirmer and Arthur Castner Christman and brother to Hazel and William (all deceased). For over 65 years, Art was the loving husband of Marina Diterichs Christman who preceded him in death July, 2010.
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Art was the Class of 1940 Valedictorian at North Wales High School. He then went on to attend the Pennsylvania State University (PSU) where he received his B.S. and M.S. in Physics. While at PSU, Art was active in and served as President of his fraternity, Delta Chi, and taught physics as a graduate student from 1946–1948. He subsequently taught and served on the staffs of George Washington University, the University of Maryland, and the Johns Hopkins University.
A WWII veteran, Art served from 1944 – 1946 as a fire control officer on the USS CHICAGO CA-136 Navy cruiser in the Pacific Theater. He was among the first to go ashore at Yokosuka, Japan in August 1945.
Art began his military operations research career in the early 1950's when he was invited by one of its pioneers, the late Ellis Johnson, to join the Johns Hopkins University Operations Office in Maryland. During the Korean War, with the US battling Chinese and North Korean forces, Art's project team, TEAR (for "Tactical Air"), assessed the effectiveness of close air support and artillery support of ground forces. He also went overseas to become an Advisor to the US Army Europe reporting on the vulnerability of depots and supply links, nuclear weapons effects, and air re-supply for special material parts. In 1952, Art joined the newly formed Operations Research Society of America where he served as President of its Western Section and Military Application Section.
Art's long career as an operations researcher included 17 years at the Stanford Research Institute where he served in various management levels and demonstrated the versatile applications of operations research in consulting with the Army, primarily on Weapons Systems Effectiveness, several major cities on traffic and the US Post Office on parcel delivery. He last served until his retirement in 1987, as Senior Scientist and Scientific Advisor (a 2 Star Major General equivalent) to the Commander (CDR) of Training, Doctrine, and Combat Developments (TRADOC), where he reviewed and advised CDR TRADOC on the technical feasibility and the analytic soundness of the cost-effectiveness on Desert War systems.
Art's professional honors were many, including WWII Victory Medal, the Presidential Rank of Meritorious Executive in the Senior Executive Service and The Secretary of the Army Gold Medal for Exceptional Civilian Service.
After retiring to Santa Barbara in 1988, Art became active both in his retirement community, Valle Verde, and in Santa Barbara. At Valle Verde, he served several terms as President of the Residents' Council, was a long-term member on the Board of Advisors of Finance Committee, served as Chair of the Environment Services Committee and Secretary of the Executive Committee. He was also the first resident member of Valle Verde's parent organization, American Baptist Homes of the West (ABHOW), Board of Directors, on which he served for 13 years, as well as a charter board member of ABHOW's parent corporation, Cornerstone.
In the community at large, Art was actively involved in both Santa Barbara lawn bowl clubs, the Cambridge Drive Community Church and served on the Board of Directors of the Central Coast Commission for the Senior Citizens Area Agency on Aging. His honors and awards after retirement included the American Baptist Homes of the West Governance Award and the Trustee of the Year Award from California Association of Homes and Services for the Aging.
Art traveled to over sixty countries in the world as a naval officer, physicist, professor, operations researcher, scientific advisor, and tourist. No matter where he roamed in his jobs for the U.S. Navy, various universities, or the Department of the Army, he always remained focused on helping others. In retirement, he enjoyed travel with his wife or children.
Art is survived by his loving children, Candace (John) Canto, Tatiana (Ken) Harvey, Deborah (Bruce) Clark, Arthur (Cheryl) Christman III, Ilia (Kathy) Christman, Cynthia (John) Buckwalter, 14 grandchildren, and 3 great grandsons.
Relatives and friends are invited to attend his life celebration service and reception at Valle Verde, 900 Calle de los Amigos, Santa Barbara, CA on Saturday, January 19th at 1:30 p.m.
In lieu of flowers, those desiring may send contributions in Art's memory to the Arthur C Christman Jr. Fund, ABHOW Foundation, Suite 300, 6120 Stoneridge Mall Road, Pleasanton, CA 94588 or Cambridge Drive Community Church, 550 Cambridge Dr. Goleta, CA 93117.
Published in Virginia Gazette from Dec. 8, 2012 to Jan. 7, 2013