Wilburn Earl Christian (1926 - 2018)

Obituary
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Wilburn Earl Christian, lifelong resident of Bagdad passed away peacefully at his home on Thursday-about a mile from his birthplace.

Wilburn was born on December 28, 1926. He attended local schools, and at age 17 joined the Navy and served during World War 2 on the aircraft carrier Bunker Hill. After leaving the Navy, he enrolled at the Kansas City School of Watchmaking, where he was certified as a master watchmaker, clockmaker, and jeweler.

It was in Kansas City where he met Bertha (known to many as Scottie), his wife of more than 66 years. After finishing school, he returned home to Bagdad with his wife and baby daughter Carolyn. He lived in Bagdad the remainder of his life.

In addition to his work as a jeweler and watchmaker, Wilburn was one of the first employees hired by Chemstrand (later Monsanto) in 1953, where he retired in 1982. During the 1960s and 70s, he operated a retail jewelry store in downtown Milton.

In 1960, Wilburn was elected to the Santa Rosa County School Board, and was re-elected in 1964. He was also appointed by Governor Reuben Askew to the local juror selection committee.

Wilburn enjoyed fishing and spending time with friends and grandchildren. In recent years he had been a guest at several local schools where he shared stories with students about life during World War 2. He could often be found very early in the morning at the Tom Thumb Store on Garcon Point Road, where he would greet customers and visit with friends. He was also a founding member of the Bagdad Yacht and Racket Club.

He was a member of the Bagdad First United Methodist Church. He often joked that local preachers paid him to attend so they would always be sure to have at least one "Christian" in the crowd.

He was preceded in death by his wife, Bertha; parents Wilburn L. and Reba Christian; six brothers: Donovan, Ben, Raphael (Dago), Wilford (his infant twin), Alva (Edsel), and Olin (Beverly); and two sisters: Muriel Crusoe and Fay Gay.

Wilburn is survived by his daughter: Carolyn (Bill) Kranz; three sons: Richard (Ginny), Robert (Dewanna), and Thomas; five grandchildren; seven great-grandchildren; and Julianna Herczeg, longtime friend and caregiver. Our family is very grateful for her love and care.

Visitation will be Saturday November 17 at 1:30 PM, followed by service at 2:30 PM at the Lewis Funeral Home in Milton; Reverend Robert Warren officiating. Reception for family and friends will be at 4:30 PM at the First United Methodist Church fellowship hall in Bagdad.
Funeral Home
Lewis Funeral Home
6405 Highway 90
Milton, FL 32570
(850) 623-2243
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Published in Santa Rosa Press Gazette from Nov. 15 to Dec. 15, 2018
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Funeral Home Details
Milton, FL   (850) 623-2243
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