BOILING SPRINGS LAKE — Joe Owen Christian, of Boiling Springs Lakes, North Carolina, joined his beloved widow, Bea, on September 15, 2021 after one hundred years of devotion to his country, community and family. Born in Monroe City, Missouri, on March 22, 1921, this farm boy supported his mother and sisters after his father’s untimely death until he joined the Navy during World War Two. He was transferred to Quonset Point, Rhode Island after the war, where he impressed a young Rhode Island School of Design Scholarship Student, Beatrice Elizabeth Dunphy, at an OCS Dance when he asked, ” I’m from the Show-Me-State, got anything to show me?” Her reply took the artistic form of an abrupt hand gesture that left a lifetime impression on Joe’s left cheek. They soon married in Providence in 1947 as Joe continued his career in the Navy. Soon, Bea found herself in a tiny cockpit of a Navy plane, which delivered her to Guantanamo, Cuba, where she soon delivered a cargo of her own, Jo-Ann Elizabeth, in June of 1948. Four years later, Suzann was born in Providence as Joe continued his valuable services to the Navy. As Joe declared time and time again, ” I took every classroom course that the Navy offered when I was at sea on aircraft carriers. ” Consequently, he was selected by numerous engineering groups to work on special projects where his ” nuts and bolts ” practical experience working with his hands helped expedite design of modern concepts that were emerging. For example, he was a member of a group of ” troubleshooters” that developed the ability to refuel aircraft without having to land: an important consideration when stationed on an aircraft carrier where “land” was non-existent. Another notch in Joe’s “Carrier Belt” was when his ship also picked up Neil Armstrong’s crew after their historic trip to the moon. After retirement, Joe was offered a job with Georgia Pacific in Houston, Texas, where Jo-Ann and Suzann finished high school and college. GP recognized Joe’s innate skill at designing and assembling buildings and machines. After Houston, he and Bea were sent to Eugene, Oregon and, eventually, to the Southport, North Carolina area, where they finally retired to play (and work at) golf and Quilting. Along with his engineering skills, Joe was on the front lines of making sure that his workers were treated fairly and justly.
Joe is survived by his two daughters Jo-Ann Christian husband Daniel Gould, Suzann Jones husband Robert Jones, grandson Jason Leaf, 3 granddaughters Michell Meierdierck husband Mark Meierdierck, Chrystal Causey husband Scott Causey, and Mackenzie LeFevre husband Gray LeFevre, 4 great grandchildren, Ashleigh Wood, Trevor Causey, Allison Hartung, Abigail Hartung, and Roxann LeFevre. Fond memories and expressions of sympathy may be shared at www.peacocknewnamwhite.com for the Christian family.
Peacock – Newnam & White Funeral and Cremation Service, Southport, North Carolina.