Christie Smith Galbraith, loving daughter, sister, wife, mother, and grandmother, died peacefully on March 25, 2021, with family at her side after battling an extended illness. She had just celebrated her 81st birthday.
On Monday, March 29, the family hosted a private family viewing at The Hamil Family Funeral home, followed by graveside services. A public Memorial Service will be held at 2:00 pm on Saturday, May 1 at First Baptist Church, followed by a Celebration of her Life at the Grace Museum.
Christie Lyneé Smith was born on February 17, 1940, to Stanley VE .and Evelyne Montgomery Smith of Abilene. Involvement began at an early age as she was cheerleader for the Crockett Crocodiles in elementary school and at South Junior High School, where she was also Treasurer of the Student Council. It is here where she first met the love of her life - Gerald Galbraith – and held hands while floating in Lytle Lake watching July 4th fireworks before eighth grade. The beginning of a special lifelong companionship.
Christie was an outstanding student graduating in the top 10 of her class from Abilene High in 1958. She was voted Most Friendly, Class Favorite, Homecoming Queen, Miss Abilene High and Head Cheerleader during high school. Her AHS megaphone sits in the Texas Sports Hall of Fame as part of the exhibit honoring Coach Moser and the Team of the Century. She cheered the Eagles during their historic three state championships and 49 straight wins.
Her high school accomplishments earned her a scholarship to TCU; however, in 1959, as a freshman, she started experiencing stomach aches. She came home to visit her doctor, also a family friend, who told her that there “isn’t a physical problem, but a broken heart.” He prescribed she move to Lubbock to be with Gerald - which she did, and the rest is history. Gerald and Christie attended Texas Tech University together and married on August 27, 1960. The only “B” she ever received, ironically, was in Marriage 101 the following year. Christie graduated in three years with a degree in Education and proved her professor wrong to celebrate 60 years with Gerald in 2020. As an empty nester, she earned a Master's in Counseling from Hardin Simmons University.
Christie was very devoted to making her community and the world a better place. Her children remember her being a loving mom who let them be themselves and give them wings. She was always there quietly supporting and protecting them, but in the background, she was developing a legacy as a leader in many Abilene organizations. Under her Presidency at the Junior League of Abilene, the chapter was able to transition to their new home on Butternut Street. During that time, she also Co-Chaired to start the needed service of “Call for Help” for abuse and suicide prevention – forwarding the phones after hours to her home. She was President of the Museums of Abilene when they renovated and moved to the Grace Museum. In addition, she was President of the YWCA, President of the Tri-Delta Alumnae Association, President of Pensadoras, and a member of the Women’s Club, and Philarmonic Guild. She and Gerald have also been active members of the First Baptist Church of Abilene for over 45 years. She served on a committee to begin the National Day of Prayer in Abilene and participated in Bible Study Fellowship for many years. She put family and faith first, but also loved spending time with her friends and distinguished members of her Bridge group, the Coffee girls, Tri-Delta friends and her High School birthday group.
She is survived by her loving husband, Gerald, and their two children: Greg Galbraith and his wife, Jenny of Dallas, their children, Greta Galbraith Reid with husband, Tucker Reid of Austin, and Gabe Galbraith; Cathie Galbraith Coleman and her husband David Coleman of Fort Worth/Abilene and their children, Drake and Sam Coleman. She is also survived by her brother, Dr. Stanley M Smith and wife, Leslie of Abilene; sister-in-law Kay Galbraith Hartgraves and husband, Travis of Abilene; brother-in-law Gary Galbraith and wife, Deonna of Abilene and numerous nieces, nephews and cousins.
All remembered Christie for her infectious laugh and great sense of humor. She lived life to the fullest, loved beautiful things, including flowers, art, music, theatre, sunsets on the water, and traveling. She and Gerald traveled the world, hitting six of the seven continents. She also loved watching sports and anything to do with her children and later grandchildren, particularly high school football and Dixie Little League baseball, which her dad help start in 1950.
Most importantly, she treated everyone the same and was genuinely kind and empathetic, understanding all people and culture.
In lieu of flowers, please send a memorial in her name to the Grace Museum, 102 Cypress, Abilene, Texas 79601 or First Baptist City Lights Ministry,1333 No 3rd, Abilene, Texas 79601, United Way of Abilene, 240 Cypress Suite 200, Abilene, Tx 79601 or charity of your choice.