A Lancer out of sight
Never out of mind
with great sadness that we inform all Lee Alumni that Capt.
Martin Christie passed away on Saturday, 11 October, 2008. A
memorial service will be held at the Fr. Rosecrans National
at 11 AM on Tuesday, October 21, 2008. In lieu of flowers,
contributions in his memory may be made to the American Ex-POW
Organization, C/O Ercell Stout, 494B
Christie taught biology at
from 1962 to 1964 and was the chairman of the Science Department at
from 1965 to 1966.
Christie enlisted in the Marines at the beginning of WWII and was
when he and his unit were captured by the Japanese. He was
held as a POW and confined to a number of camps throughout the south
Pacific until finally moved to
where he was rescued by American forces at the end of the war.
Following his release he reenlisted and then went to
and was commissioned as a Marine officer. After 20 years he
retired as a Marine Captain and pursued teaching as a second career.
During the Vietnam war, Capt. Christie felt the urge to be closer to
the military action and joined the United States Assistance to
International Development and served in
. While in
he married his second wife, Rosie, and started a second family.
Eventually he retired from active employment but continued to as an
active tutor in tennis clubs in
. He remained actively involved in Marine and POW
associations. Three years ago he sent me an advanced copy of a
DVD that was made for the Military History channel that featured he
and several other WWII POWS. That small group met regularly at
their local VFW and often attended national conventions where
possible. Ten years ago I had the honor to assist Capt.
Christie in arranging for a Marine Color Guard for the opening and
closing ceremonies at their POW convention in
; and we were glad to have him stay in our home as he visited his
POW comrades in the Tampa Bay area.
Christie remained sharp as a tack throughout his retirement life. We
exchanged emails several times a week over the past ten years, and
he would occasionally call me just to resolve times, places, and
people from days gone by. His Lee yearbooks must be have
thoroughly worn covers as he often would go through them to try to
figure out maiden names and faces of alumni who now have married
names. He relished his attendance at a Lee alumni picnic and
reunion a few years ago....and wished that he could attend the
Christie called us every Christmas and New Year's morning....and was
just as eager to talk with Diana as he was with me. He was
deeply moved by all who remembered him and was genuinely, and humbly
surprised by even the smallest gesture of remembrance. Yet, I
am sure that many of his students will just as fondly remember him,
and possibly even with a grin, and their being a recipient of a
flying wet sponge while sitting in his biology class.
he Rest in Peace. He definitely wrote with indelible ink when
he autographed the pages of our mind!