It is said that, “Death never takes the wise man by surprise, he is always ready to go.” On April 25, 2020 Henry Edd (Hank) Christian, III peacefully began his eternity with God. For those who knew him you couldn’t miss his tendency to serve, work and love. You would know his sparkling blue eyes, his shiny bald head and recognize his hearty laugh.
He was “Mr. Fixit” extraordinaire, a construction genius, a self-taught engineer, creative, artistic, strong as an ox and dependable as the sunrise. He taught his kids that “Early is on time, on time is late, and late is never acceptable”. When recalling a day working with “Slick” (as he was called because of his bald head), one grandson remembers being told, “You get two breaks today. The first one was before you got here and the 2nd one is when the job is done.” Any job involving his John Deere was always more fun than work.
And he absolutely loved having fun. He was a fantastic athlete and coached and played basketball and softball. He was a fierce competitor but always made the fun the most important thing. Golf, travel, visiting the casino, horseshoes, ping pong…you name it, he’d play it. But he was in his element when playing a game of Rook or shuffling the bone pile preparing to beat you at Dominoes. Stories and laughter were his trademark. His favorite trick to entertain the little ones was taking out his dentures to wide-eyed fascination. You always needed to be ready to hear a silly joke, (told through a laugh he couldn’t keep in) and listen to a fantastic story which was always at least 50% true.
You could always count on finding candy in the end table by his chair. All kinds of candy. He never met a candy he didn’t like. He taught us to eat dessert first, because “you just never know”, lemon pie was a first choice as dessert, he snacked on Vienna sausages, put cheddar cheese on ginger snaps, and Pepsi was his drink of choice.
His greatest loves were his family. All his family. From his first marriage with Ann Kasey and no lesser love for the family he gained when he remarried Peggy Jo. His relationship with God was foundational and he passed that along to his family. He served and impacted his community and his church wherever he was.
He is preceded in death by his parents, Henry Ed Jr. and Carrie Lee Christian, a sister Wanda Baxley and a grandson Kevin Christian.
He is survived by his loving wife Peggy Jo, 5 siblings and his children Hank (children, Nicole and Ben), Trae (& Lynne; children Alex and Rebecca-Lynne), Jay (& Joni; children Ashley, Leah, and Bailey), Cissy Becker (& Jeff; children Spencer, Christian and Tristen), and Quen (& Gina), as well as step children Tony Taylor and Tracy Nash (& Jeff; children Jamie, Justin, Johanna and Taylor).
He leaves behind grandchildren, great grandchildren, nieces, nephews, friends and neighbors too numerous to list but all remembered and loved dearly.
As he prepared to breath his last he listened to his all-time favorite hymn, “I Come to the Garden” and it’s not inconceivable to think he may have quoted Winston Churchill saying, “I am ready to meet my Maker. Whether my Maker is prepared for the great ordeal of meeting me is another matter.”
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