ATASCADERO — Christine H. Davis French, 60, of Atascadero died on Sept. 18, 2012, after a nine-month battle with Lou Gehrig’s Disease.
She was born in Appleton, Wis., in October 1951 to Richard H. Davis and Elenore Hoxie Griffiths, and her family moved to Palos Verdes, where she graduated from high school and developed a lifelong love of the Pacific Ocean.
Christy entered Cal Poly in the fall of 1969 and graduated with a degree in mathematics, followed by a teaching credential. Thousands of future students benefited from her rare gift of teaching and unrelenting positive nature.
She could make even the quadratic equation come to life.
Her career began at Old Mission High School followed by Atascadero Junior High School in 1978, where she met Skip. The chemistry began slowly until a forged note from students set up their first date. They were married in the Presbyterian Church in San Luis on June 13, 1981.
Three wonderful sons were born over the next five years. She never missed their activities. Soccer, wrestling, football, baseball and scouts found her cheering, coaching and demanding good sportsmanship. Vacations ranged from salmon fishing in Puget Sound, hiking Glacier and Yellowstone, to surfing in San Diego, pitching a tent each night.
She guided us through the tough times too — the broken bones and broken hearts of active life. An avid runner herself, she would rise at 4:30 and train under the stars.
Her favorite events were the Bay to Breakers and the Big Sur half marathon completed only last November. Her success was a blend of equal parts iron will and pure joy.
At Atascadero High, Christy taught all levels of math enthusiastically. Innovative and open minded, she jumped at the chance to visit St. Petersburg, Russia, for an international mathematics exchange. More importantly, she ate lunch in her room each day to tutor struggling students.
She began teaching evenings at Cuesta College in 2008. In 2011, she was voted “Teacher of the Year” at AUSD and accepted a position at Cal Poly working with future math teachers.
She cherished these “jobs” to her core, but it was a sad day was when she was forced to turn in her keys, no longer able to stand and deliver her gift. A teacher, yes, but also a friend, mentor, confidante, role model, mom, wife and grammy.
On her last trip to Tahoe, surrounded by friends, we ran her wheelchair through the scented mountain air she loved so much. We dragged that same chair across the sand in Hawaii to swim with the turtles.
She insisted on a helicopter ride around Kauai, almost touching the waterfalls, and shared a decadent Hula Pie for lunch with Skip.
She didn’t get cheated until the very end.
Christy was preceded in death by her parents; sister, Cindy; and brother, Rich.
She is survived by husband, Skip; sons, Scott, Matt (Briana) and Kevin; sisters, Pam (Kevin) and Sue (Bill); stepmother, Yoshi; and a large extended family from granddaughter Gracie to patriarch George French Sr.
A large caring community of friends who recognize her love of life, humanity, integrity, and unfortunate circumstance mourn her passing. Live and love while you can — life is fleeting.
A celebration of Christy’s life will be held from 2 to 5 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 6 at Santa Margarita Park. Bring a side dish and lawn chair — beverages and dessert will be provided.
Donations to Hospice Partners of San Luis Obispo County, extremely helpful in our time of need, especially gentle nurse, Cindy Marble; or the ALS Society.For the complete article see the 10-03-2012 issue.
Click here to purchase an electronic version of the 10-03-2012 paper.