Obituary for Dr. C.W. Christian
Dr. C. W. “Wally” Christian, Macon Professor Emeritus at Baylor University, died early Monday morning, November 30, 2015, marking the final cadence to a remarkable and influential life.
Born February 11, 1927, in Dallas, Texas, Wally grew up to be—as he once described himself—a polypassionate man. That is, he loved many things, took an interest in many things, and did a number of things very well.
He held BA and MA degrees from Baylor, a BD from Southwestern Seminary, and a PhD from Vanderbilt University. He authored five books, taught historical theology for more than forty years, and became a favorite professor to generations of undergraduate and graduate students who dubbed him both “Friar Tuck” (for his appearance and genial nature) and “the bald-headed assassin” (for his diligence in directing dissertations).
But professional pursuits were just one aspect of Dr. Christian’s life. He was also a lifelong and dedicated naturalist with a special expertise in birds and snakes, a woodworker who crafted furniture and carved a series of exquisite nativity scenes, a singer (tenor!) and musician who taught courses in opera and lectured for the Waco Civic Opera, and an accomplished poet of both light and serious verse. For more than a decade after his retirement he wrote a monthly poem for the Newsletter of the Baylor Retired Professors/Administrators Program. Most of all, he was a committed and enthusiastic family man, dedicated to his wife of sixty-three years, his four children, and his five grandchildren.
He was preceded in death by his parents, John Broadus and Ella Christian, his brother, J. B. Christian, and his sister, Jo Anne Christian Gaulden.
Mourning his loss and celebrating his life are his wife, Betty Purvis Christian; brother Jimmie Sams Christian and sister-in-law Jane; daughter Anne Christian Buchanan and son-in-law Stan; daughter Suzii Christian Parsons and son-in-law Joe; sons Robert Christian and David Christian and David’s fiancée Kim Carter; grandchildren Elizabeth Buchanan (Noah Wright), Savannah and Sydney Christian, and Eli and Ella Parsons; nieces Anne Christian Lorys (James) and Jennifer Christian-Herman (Marc), and great-nephew Jake Herman.
A memorial celebration will be held at 6 p.m. on Saturday, December 5 at 7th & James Baptist Church in Waco. Memorial contributions are welcome and should be addressed to Seeds of Hope Publishers (http://www.seedspublishers.org), the Central Texas Audubon Society (1308 Circlewood, Waco, TX 76712), or the bereavement fund at 7th & James Baptist Church.