Ruth Christie

Ruth Maxine Bristow Christie, 87, of Townsend passed away peacefully on May 21, 2013, after multiple hospital stays.

Ruth was born April 6, 1926, near Judith Gap as the first child of W.F. “Bill” and Effie Herron Bristow. She was later joined by brother Wally and sister Mary Lou. Her grandfather, Joe Herron, managed ranches for A.B. Cook and W.D. Rankin between 1927 and 1953. Her father, Bill Bristow, managed the Bedford and Sheep Creek cattle operations for Hervey Cook. She spent her childhood years on those historic ranches, which are mostly under Canyon Ferry Lake today. She attended local schools and graduated from Broadwater County High School in 1944.

During high school, Ruth met the love of her life, Douglas Christie. They dated in school and married on Dec. 31, 1945. They were the third generation to make their home on the Christie cattle and sheep ranch on Confederate Creek near Townsend. They lived there for the next 60 years. In the later years, they lovingly refurbished the 1934 Chevy that Doug drove as a teenager and in which they had dated. It now sits in the Montana Auto Museum in Deer Lodge.

For the first year of their marriage, Ruth taught at the Johnson School House on Confederate Creek where Doug had gone to school throughout his childhood years. The rest of her life she dedicated to being a homemaker and mother.

Doug and Ruth had four girls who they adored: Peggy, Jeannie, Betti and Sally. Doug and Ruth always made time to take their girls on special family vacations that included trips to the Pacific Ocean to celebrate each of their high school graduations. The girls worked alongside their father in the fields and caring for their cattle and sheep.

Ruth was very involved in the Townsend community where she invested her life. She was a founding member of the Alliance Bible Church and lovingly ministered to her church family. With Grace Berberet, she led an interdenominational Bible study for women of Townsend for many years. Through the years, she had been active as a 4-H Leader, board member of the Canton Church Restoration Project, Farm Bureau, and an officer in the local Republican Party. She faithfully attended all of her children’s, grandchildren’s and great grandchildren’s school and community activities.

Ruth was passionate about art and loved to paint. She developed many lifetime friendships through art classes. Her favorite medium was watercolor, and she left us a wonderful collection of her paintings to treasure.

During their life together, Doug and Ruth enjoyed many wonderful trips to see the world, including several trips to Mexico, the Caribbean and Germany. They also enjoyed traveling to different parts of the United States, including many special winters exploring Arizona and Southern California in their RV.

Her family and friends will remember Ruth for her Christian character, high ethics, integrity and strong family leadership. Most of all, she will be remembered for her deep love for people. With her generous and caring spirit, she spent her life comforting and caring for others. She never forgot a birthday and was always ready to take a meal to someone in need.

She was a woman of deep faith and loved Jesus Christ with all her heart. With great anticipation, she looked forward to Glory.

Ruth was preceded in death by her cherished husband and friend, Doug, in 2006. She was also predeceased by her parents, Bill and Effie Bristow; brother, Wally Bristow; sister, Mary Lou Meyer; and great-grandchild, Emma Bauer.

She’ll be greatly missed by her daughters and their families. She enjoyed her 11 grandchildren and their spouses, plus 26 great-grandchildren with two on the way.

Ruth Christie was a great friend to the Canton Church and served many years as a Board Member on the Canton Church Restoration, Inc. Board.  Ruth loved history and worked hard throughout her life to preserve the history of Broadwater County.  In her last years Ruth wrote a detailed histories of the Bristow family and their lifes managing the AB Cook, Hervey Cook and Rankin ranches. She gave each of her children a copy and donated a copy to the Broadwater County Museum.

Ruth Christie was an integral part of Broadwater County and she will be long remembered for her life, her contributions to the Broadwater Bygones and her art which is owned and cherished by many in Broadwater County.

To view Ruth's full obituary click on Ruth Christie Obituary.