George West Christie, long-retired newspaper editor and publisher, died at age 99 on Monday, July 19, 2021, at Bethany Home in Waupaca, WI, with his loving family by his side. George was born on May 1st, 1922 in Crookston, MN, to George West Christie, Sr. and Eva Augusta Lindbergh Christie. His parents were editors and publishers of the Red Lake Falls Gazette in MN. His only sister, Lillian Christie Johnson, was five years older. When George was 5 years old, on May 21, 1927, his mother’s only brother, Charles Augustus Lindbergh, made his historic solo flight from New York to Paris and became a world-known hero of that time. In 1932, George’s Uncle Charles and wife Anne Morrow Lindbergh landed a plane at the Red Lake Falls airport to visit the Christie family. Uncle Charles took George on a plane ride and from then on George was interested in anything to do with aviation. In 1934 George and his father traveled to Chicago to attend the Chicago World’s Fair. Three years later, George attended the very first National Boy Scout Jamboree on the National Mall in Washington, D.C. with 25,000 other Boy Scouts. After graduating from Lafayette High School in Red Lake Falls in 1940, George attended Carleton College, in Northfield, MN, to study economics. He enlisted in the U.S. Navy in 1942 and was called up in May of 1943 to start training as a pilot. George trained at the Naval Air Training Center in Pensacola, FL, where he graduated as an aviator in January, 1945. After WWII George served in the Navy Reserve as a pilot until the mid-1960s, driving 600 miles round trip to Minneapolis once per month for duty. George returned to Carleton College after the war to finish his BA degree and met the love of his life, Peggy Jane Schoon. Upon graduation in 1947, he obtained a journalism degree from the U of MN and joined his parents at the Red Lake Falls Gazette as editor. Peggy graduated from Carleton in 1949, and they were married at the Little Brown Church in Iowa before moving to Red Lake Falls where they lived until 1970. They had three children while in RLF--Susan, Dirk and Bruce. In 1968 George and his brother-in-law Edmund Johnson purchased the Kanabec County Times in Mora, MN and moved there in the summer of 1970. George and Peggy retired in 1980 and spent years traveling through much of the US, Mexico, and wintering in Tucson. They also made visits to Alaska and WI to visit their children and families. George continued to live in his home in Mora after Peggy died in 2012, and then moved to Waupaca, WI, in April 2020, the city where George bought his Piper Comanche airplane in 1986. George enjoyed reading non-fiction, flying and aviation, golfing, travel, road trips, geography and maps, and especially time with his family and friends. He loved watching golf, tennis, football, ski jumping, and anything about grizzly bears, sharks, and wild African animals on TV. He had a zest for life, always curious and thinking ahead to the next outing, even at 99. Most who knew him would say he was “one of a kind!” George will be missed by his family--daughter Susan Porfilio (Harry), son Dirk Christie (Elena), and son Bruce Christie (fiancee Lynda); grandchildren Tressa Smail (Bob), Sean Stults (Kelly), Jenna Mir, Stefan Stults (Elissa) and Alex Christie (fiancee Micaela); and great-grandchildren Cyric, Kelise, and Soren Stults, Javen and Kylan Mir, Lilian and Adeline Smail, and Calvin and Amelia Stults, as well as sister-in-law, Barb Schoon, plus nieces, nephews, and friends. A celebration of George’s life will take place on Friday, October 15, at Maple Crest Funeral Home in Waupaca, WI, to begin at 2:30 pm with visiting time, a short remembrance service at 3:30, followed by a light supper at 4 pm.. There will be a 2nd celebration of life for George at Spring Brook Golf Course in Mora, MN, on Monday, October 18, at 2:30 pm with visiting first, a short remembrance at 3:30 with a light supper to follow.. Any donations can be designated in George’s memory to the Christie Home Museum in Long Prairie, MN, (christiehome.org) to continue the preservation of the museum that was home to his grandfather, Dr. George Ralph Christie. A special thank you for the great care from all the staff at Bethany Home in Waupaca and the ThedaCare Hospice staff during George’s last year.
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