1935 - 2023
Christy passed away on 22 April 2023 in Fort Worth Texas shortly after her 88th birthday. She was born in Sheridan in 1935. Her father, Rev. Donald G. Smith, was rector of St. Peter’s Episcopal Church. Her first home, which has long since been razed, was the rectory on church property just southeast of the main building. She loved that house and years later drew a detailed floor plan of it.
Christy’s early life in Sheridan was filled with friends she would know for life, and with animals. Christy loved all animals! She especially loved riding her horse Lord Beaverbrook up near Story. She worked one summer at Eatons’ Ranch, where she surprised the wranglers one morning by bringing the dudes’ horses down from the mountain before the wranglers got up.
Christy married fellow Sheridan native Phil Watenpaugh in 1954. He flew F-86 Sabre Jets for the Air Force, so their early life together followed where he was stationed. After honorable discharge, he took a job with Vought Aircraft in north central Texas. Christy and Phil settled there and raised two sons, but they frequently flew or drove back to Wyoming over the years to visit beloved family, friends and places. Christy went on to become an accomplished and prolific painter. She drew inspiration in part from her early exposure to the work of Hans Kleiber as well as her parents.
Christy was a proud Wyomingite. She loved her home state and never hesitated to tell others about Wyoming’s natural beauty and many other blessings. Shortly after her passing, a single Indian Paintbrush appeared in the yard where she had lived late in life with son Don and family in Aledo Texas.
Christy is preceded in death by parents Rev. Donald G. and Winnifred Smith, and by her husband Phil. Christy is survived by sons David and Don; their wives Kay and Shannon, respectively; grandchildren Gwen, Fiona, Logan, Denton, Kendra, and Jenna; extended family and friends too numerous to mention; and countless others. As Shannon said, “Chris never met a stranger.” According to her wishes, Christy was cremated and her ashes will be scattered a few special places most dear to her, including the Bighorn Mountains.
Family and friends will celebrate Christy’s life at Grace Lutheran Church, 210 Park Row Dr., Arlington, Texas on Saturday 1 July at 11 AM. A service will be followed by a reception. The event will be live-streamed. At the reception, attendees may share brief stories of their time with Christy. Others may email remembrances to ChristyW.Celebration@gmail.com, and we can read them at the reception upon request. In lieu of flowers, please donate to the DFW Humane Society or the Humane Society animal shelter nearest you.
A more detailed version of Christy’s obituary may be found at https://www.studiovidenda.com/poetry#/christy-ann-watenpaugh-obituary/.
It is written as imagined by her family, in her words and in the style of her yearly Christmas letter.