Fifteen year Selma, Oregon, resident Edgar Gage Christie passed away peacefully on Saturday, February 26, 2011, in his home surrounded by loved ones.
Ed was born on September 27, 1927, in the bedroom of his parents house in Ingelwood, California. Proud parents Emily Katherine Gage and Leo Ward Christie raised a boy who had a love for animals, people, mischief and adventure. Ed joined the merchant marines at the age of sixteen to support the efforts of American patriotism in World War II and enlisted for two short years in the Navy.
Discharged in 1948, Ed returned to Lancaster learning to fly and finished his high school education. During the Korean War, he joined the Coast Guard patrolling Los Angeles/Long Beach harbors as an Emergency Security Guard rescuing a number of people from the sea.
In 1952, Ed married Rosa Lee Jones, and fathered daughter, Teresa Rochelle Christie in 1956 and son, Cameron Gage Christie in 1961.
In 1954, he went to work for South Gate, California Police Department beginning his life long career in law enforcement. Working for the sheriff’s office Ed investigated homicides spending a lot of time in the Palmdale Funeral Home and became an apprentice and part time embalmer.
In 1961, Ed left the sheriffs office to become an investigator with the Los Angeles County Districts Attorney’s Office, Bureau of Investigation. While working for the D.A.’s office he made a trip to Africa for the government unable to tell his family the truth about his work as high security was involved. Returning shortly after two weeks the mission was aborted early and would not return to Africa again until assigned in 1975. Ed decided to leave the D.A.’s office and went to work for the Kern County Coroners Office as an investigator. Remaining there for eighteen years with few breaks for the Public Defenders office, and averaged about 648 homicides in his career. During this time he moved his family to a Tehachapi ranch and resumed his love for the great outdoors. Along with his best friend, Randall Clagg, he worked cattle drives and became the Tehachapi Mountain Festival chairman.
Moving back to Bakersfield in 1974, he returned to the Coroners Office. He and Rose divorced that same year.
In 1976, Ed married Jane Frances (Pardy) Hansen and extended his fatherly love to her four children, Linda, Bruce, Martin, and Kristopher making a family unit total of eight.
After enduring a car accident and a broken neck returning from a homicide call falling asleep at the wheel, Ed retired from the County and purchased a local feed lot. Raising cattle and riding horses evolved as a cure for the pain endured in the care accident.
In 1985, Ed went to work for Occidental International Exploration and Production Company as the Security Supervisor. Ed was sent to Massachusetts to attend the Tony Scotti School for anti-terrorist instructor training, which served a great purpose in training executives living and working in foreign countries. While working over seas Ed and his team became high priority targets for guerrilla/terrorist groups in countries like Colombia, Peru, Pakistan, Oman, and Algeria. During this time Ed’s name appeared in the 1980-90 Who’s Who In Security, a member of the National Association of Chiefs of Police, American Society for Industrial Security, the International Intelligence and organized Crime Association, and in 1988, received the J. Edgar Hoover distinguished Public Service Award from the FBI.
After retiring in 1994, Ed and Jane made the move from Bakersfield, California, to settle in the small town of Selma, Oregon. During the fifteen years living in Oregon, Ed dug deep into American Indian roots being given the name Going Bear, assisted in keeping the peace in the surrounding county, volunteering with his good friend, Bob Clausen, at the local funeral home, and played an active role as a member of the community.
Edgar often times envied the sedentary lifestyle and career, but was far to restless and adventurous. He was a farmer, merchant seaman, navy sailor, pilot, plumber, coast guardsman, cowboy, district attorney investigator, police officer, deputy sheriff, apprentice embalmer, sometimes federal solider, anti-terrorist instructor, security protection specialist and security supervisor. He traveled to the Philippines, China, Congo, Chad, Peru, Colombia, Algeria, Russia (Siberia), France, Switzerland and Germany. Ed states it simply, “such has been my life”.
Edgar is survived by his wife: Jane Christie,; half sister: Cherie Hipler; children: Linda Fabrizius, Bruce Hansen, Teresa Christie Nixon, Martin Hansen, Cameron Christie, and Kristopher Hansen; nineteen grandchildren; five great grandchildren and one on the way.
A memorial service will be held at Hull and Hull Funeral Home in Grant Pass, Oregon at 4:00pm Saturday, March 5, 2011. In lieu of flowers the family has requested for all donations to be made in honor of Ed by raising the funds to publish his fourth and final book in the series, The Sweet Smell of Rotten Eggs.