Frank Edward Christie (1922 - 2018)

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Frank Edward Christie, 96, of Tallahassee and Panacea, Florida, died August 19, 2018, at Big Bend Hospice, Tallahassee, Florida. Mr. Christie had been a resident of St. Augustine Plantation Assisted Living, Tallahassee, for the past two years.

Mr. Christie was a retired Georgia education administrator who had made his home in the Big Bend area on Ochlockonee Bay since 1981. Born August 8, 1922, to David Kaigler Christie, Jr. and Willie McGill Christie in Terrell County, Dawson, Georgia, , he was predeceased by his parents as well as his wife of 57 years, Hazel Chandler Christie, Panacea, FL; his second wife of 16 years, Nell Holloway Christie, Ashburn, GA; two brothers, William Earl Christie and Samuel Ray Christie (Dewene), Dawson, GA; two sisters, Emily Faye Christie McDowell (Manuel), Blakely, GA; Grace Eloise Christie Marshall, Parrott and Dawson, GA (W.H. "Bo"); and a grandson, James McGregor Tillman, Tallahassee.

He is survived by a daughter, Jane Christie Tillman, Panacea; a son, David Kaigler Christie III (Helen), Lake Harding, Alabama; and six grandchildren, Chandler Shannon Christie, Lake Harding, Alabama; Brandon Courtney Christie, LaGrange, Ga.; Justin King Tillman (Holly) and Jimi Megargee, Tallahassee; John Daniel Tillman (Jodi), Monticello; and Teresa Tillman Dorough (David), Palm Harbor, Florida, and numerous great-grandchildren, nieces, nephews, and cousins.

Mr. Christie was educated in the public schools of Terrell County, Georgia, where he was an outstanding student and athlete. He attended Middle Georgia College, Cochran, where he played guard on the 1940-41 Jr. College Southeast Championship Basketball Teams. An avid Bulldog fan, he later transferred to the University of Georgia where he played guard on the varsity basketball team and pitcher for the Dawgs baseball team, and ran track, lettering in all three sports . He was a member of the "G" Club and Sigma Nu social fraternity. In 1943, he enlisted in the Army where he was quickly sent to Chicago and made Commandant of his 400 plus member platoon, while also earning a Degree in Engineering from DePaul University. While in Chicago, he met his great love, Hazel Rebecca Chandler of Ringgold, Georgia, having been introduced by her brother, a fellow platoon member. After the briefest of courtships, they were married at the train station in Atlanta on January 29, 1944, prior to his shipping out to Okinawa, a union that lasted 57 years. For his actions on Okinawa and Leyte Gulf as a Medic during World War II, he was awarded two Purple Hearts and the Silver and Bronze Stars for Valor in Action.

After the War, with his wife and young son, he returned to the University of Georgia where he received undergraduate degrees in Agricultural Science and Education Administration. At the university, he later earned Masters Degrees in both Agriculture and Education Administration and a Six Year Certificate. During his early teaching career, he supplemented his income by pitching for the Tifton "Blue Jays," a member of the Georgia-Florida Semi-pro Baseball League. During his 35-year education career he served as a vocational agriculture instructor and baseball coach in Moultrie and Omega, GA., Terrell County school superintendent in Dawson, GA., and principal of Ringgold High, Newton Elementary, and Schley County Middle Schools, all in Georgia. During his time in Dawson, he was particularly proud of his role in helping to start the Terrell County Recreational Program and the successful and peaceful desegregation of the public schools in the mid-Sixties.

Frank and Hazel, and later Frank and Nell, were active in their Baptist church homes. Frank and Hazel served as Baptist Training Union Youth Leaders, sang in the Choir and Frank also served as a Deacon and Sunday School Superintendent. Frank also served as Song Leader for 26 years at his last church home, Alligator Point, FL, Mission-By-The-Sea. Frank loved music and singing and he and Hazel were blessed with beautiful voices which they shared throughout their lives, entertaining many at their churches and clubs, singing at weddings and other special occasions, as requested. "Stardust" was their favorite song and "Softly and Tenderly," their favorite hymn. They were marvelous and enthusiastic dancers.

An avid competitor and sportsman, Frank enjoyed fresh and saltwater fishing, deer and bird hunting, summer league softball, college football and basketball, the Florida State Seminoles, the Georgia Bulldogs, and golf. Frank won many trophies as a senior golfer at Wildwood Country Club, Medart, FL, as well as the many South Georgia courses he was privileged to have played. Active in the community, he was a member and president of the Wakulla Optimist Club, Wildwood Country Club, the Ochlockonee Bay Volunteer Fire Department, the American Legion, and was a former member of the Rotary Club and Panacea Moose Lodge.

After the death of his beloved wife hazel in 2001, Frank married his second love, Nell Smith Holloway Christie, and they spent sixteen happy years together traveling to their timeshares, dancing to their favorite tunes, and spending time between their respective homes in Georgia and Florida. Nell passed away January 19, 2018. Frank was a faithful and dedicated husband, caring for both of his wives during their terminal illnesses.

A memorial and "celebration of life" service, officiated by his longtime pastor, Ed McNeely of Sopchoppy, FL, will be held Saturday, August 25 from 4-7 p.m. at the Tillman Residence, 551 Mashes Sands Road, Ochlockonee Bay, Panacea, FL 32346. Casual dress is encouraged. A reception and visitation hour will immediately follow the service. A private burial with full military honors will be held at a later date at the Tallahassee National Cemetery, Apalachee Parkway, Tallahassee. The family has requested that in lieu of flowers memorials be made in Frank's memory to either Big Bend Hospice of Tallahassee or the Alligator Point, FL, Mission-By-The-Sea.

The family wishes to extend its heartfelt appreciation to the staff of St. Augustine Plantation Assisted Living and Big Bend Hospice, Tallahassee, for the extraordinary care given to our family and our loved one during his final days. They are truly angels on this earth!

Thank you, Daddy Frank, for a life well-lived. Until we meet again!

Neptune Society is in charge of his arrangements.
Funeral Home
Neptune Society - Tallahassee
3111 Mahan Drive Unit 2
Tallahassee, FL 32308
(850) 656-7024
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Published in The Wakulla News on Aug. 23, 2018
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