Mary Christie (Hall)
Mary Ruth Christie, a former resident of Welch and Beckley, West Virginia, passed away on her 87th birthday, January 22, 2017 in Roanoke, Va., where she lived near her daughter Amy.
She was born Mary Ruth Hall on a tobacco farm in Stokes County, North Carolina. When she was in her teens, she moved with her father John and mother Lucy to Welch, W. Va. where her father had relocated the family as he pursued his life's work running an auto service station and selling cars from Studebakers to Chevrolets.
Mary Ruth graduated from Welch High School in 1948, where she was a cheerleader and made lifelong friends. One day she was working in her father's gas station when Sam Christie, a combat veteran of World War II who had just returned home from the war, pulled in to fill up. He asked her for a date. They would marry in 1949 and remain married for 64 years until Sam's death. They raised four children, Mark (b. 1953), Steven (b. 1955), Lisa (b. 1958) and Amy (b. 1960).
Mary Ruth's happiest times were her childhood on the farm, raising her children in Welch, and later years after she and Sam relocated to the Beckley area in 1975. Yet she suffered tribulations no mother should. Her own mother Lucy died at age 49, shortly after Mary Ruth had given birth to her third child, a daughter Lisa, who would later die of cancer at the age of 45. Her second child, a son Steven, was born with a congenital heart defect and died at the age of 20. Mary Ruth endured it all with courage, grace and stoicism. She was beloved by her surviving children and grandchildren, who include Christie, James and Steven, all children of Lisa's marriage to James Songer of Beckley, Samuel and Richard, children of daughter Amy's marriage to Eddie Hunter of Roanoke. She also lived to see a great grandson, Trace, son of granddaughter Christie and her husband Mike Lilly.
Mary Ruth had a beautiful smile. She loved playing bridge, both socially and competitively. In their younger days Sam and Mary Ruth were the best dancers in the room and the life of any party. From her youngest days she loved dogs and to the end of her life she could describe with feeling each dog she had loved and who had loved her back.
Mary Ruth Christie will be buried with her husband Sam at the Southwest Virginia Veterans Cemetery of Dublin, Va., with arrangements by John M. Oakey & Son Funeral Home of Salem. The family wishes to thank the staff at Park Oak Grove in Roanoke and Good Samaritan Hospice for their wonderful care of Mary Ruth during her final months and days.