SAVANNAH, Ga. - Christine Norris Smith Persons, 92, died on April 24, 2016, at Hospice House in Savannah, Ga. She was born on Jan. 1, 1924, in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, the first child of Thomas Washington Smith and Sarah Bell Smith. She graduated from Sidney Lanier High School and attended Alabama College for Women until she joined the Women's Army Corps to serve in World War II.
In 1946 she married Wilton B. Persons Jr. shortly after his graduation from West Point; they were married for almost 69 years until his death in 2015. She attended Brandeis University and Boston University when they lived in Boston.
Christine was an exemplary Army wife for 33 years and traveled all over the world; the family lived in Germany, Hawaii and many other places. Wherever she went, Christine had a gift for making friends. She had an unquenchable curiosity about people and the world. Christine held some interesting jobs as well as raising three children; she was a tour guide in D.C., worked in a library and the Pentagon recreation office.
When Wilt retired in 1979 after reaching the rank of Major General and serving as the Judge Advocate General of the Army, they moved to Savannah, where they embraced Low Country living. They lived at The Landings on Skidaway Island and then moved to the newly-built The Marshes at Skidaway Island. They enjoyed sailing their boat "La Boheme," traveling and doing volunteer work. Christine volunteered at the Savannah Safe Shelter, Hospice House, and did reading tutoring in public school.
For fun, Christine loved playing bridge, dancing and parties. She was an accomplished dancer and member of the Hot Flashes tap troupe in Savannah. She was a wonderful cook, though she would tell you otherwise, and had a knack for entertaining and making holidays magical. If you met her, you would never forget her, with her Alabama accent, sense of humor and huge personality that lit up a room. She was known for her glamorous wardrobe, snazzy shoes and jewelry. Christine loved cats and dogs, was an inveterate reader and interested in history. Chris always liked challenging crossword puzzles. In her sixties she took up painting and discovered that she enjoyed it. If heaven features a bar, Christine will be found there savoring a Maker's Mark Manhattan.
She is survived by her daughter Charlotte of Kelso, Washington; her daughter Alice of Westbrook, Maine; and her son Wilton B. Persons III of Tallahassee, Florida. She is survived by her grandsons David and Stephen Blomeyer, many nieces and nephews, and her sister-in-law Charlotte Land and her husband Everett of Brenham, Texas. She was predeceased by her parents; her husband, Maj. Gen. Wilton B. Persons Jr., in April of 2015; and her two sisters, Anne and Sarah.
A memorial service will be held at The Marshes in Savannah on June 25, 2016, at 4 p.m.
If you wish to contributein her memory, you could choosean animal shelter or animal rescue organization, or Hospice House of Savannah.See Newspaper Obituary
Published in Portland Press Herald/Maine Sunday Telegram on April 28, 2016