Robert (Bob) Graham Christian II
Thursday 23rd of February 1922 - Tuesday 5th of October 2021
Robert (Bob) Graham Christian II, loving father, grandfather, great grandfather and a friend to many, died on October 5, 2021 at the age of 99. His wife Bettie Jane Christian preceded him in death in 2015.
Bob is survived by his children Debra Hall (Ron) Louisville, Robert Lyle Christian (Kristiana) Louisville; grandchildren Holly Cooper (Daniel) Seattle WA, Margaret Hatcher (Drew) Wilmington NC, Catherine Coy (Jon) Louisville and Matthew Christian Louisville. Bob is also survived by four great grandchildren: Adeline Cooper, Josephine Cooper, Townes Cooper and Avery Hatcher.
Bob was born in 1922 to Robert and Datie McCann Christian and graduated from Lafayette High School in Lexington.
Bob served in the Army 34th Infantry “Red Bulls” Division during World War 2. The Red Bulls was the first American division deployed to Europe in World War 2. He trained at Ft Sill Oklahoma and was shipped to Casablanca Morocco on the British ship Andes. After arriving in Casablanca, his group was transported by train to Tunisia. His unit’s first assignment was to clear Tunisian desert battlefields of burned-out tanks, planes and other ruins of war. These items were returned to Southern Europe for re-smelting into new weaponry. He also served as a POW guard to German and Italian soldiers while in Tunisia. His unit then participated in the duck-boat invasion of Salerno Italy, where he served on an artillery unit. Soon after, he came down with Malaria and was shipped to a British station hospital in Tunisia, since there were no Allied hospitals in Italy at that time. Soon after, the station hospital was packed up and shipped to Grosseto, Italy north of Rome. As Bob recovered from malaria in Grosseto. The station hospital continually moved north to support the Allied advance into Italy. Bob worked at the hospital as it moved all the way north to Pisa until the war ended. While working at the hospital, Bob and a fellow soldier maintained a photograph developing service for other soldiers. As a result, Bob’s collection of WW2 era photographs is extensive. He was one of the last two surviving members of his Unit. As of his death, only about 325,000 (2%) of the 16 million US men and women who served in WW2 were still alive.
Bob married Betty in 1947. Bob enjoyed a long career as a real estate agent, builder, remodeler, painting contractor and apartment landlord. He also was an accomplished artist, having completed scores of paintings in his lifetime, continuing to paint up into his late 90’s.
His family and extensive network of friends remember him as a kind, curious, humorous, warm, generous and engaging man. He befriended and assisted many, extending acts of kindness to friends, family and strangers alike. He was a genuine and loyal spouse, father, grandfather and great grandfather.
The Christian family has a long history in Kentucky, having been some of the original pioneers in the late 1600s that settled in the Virginia/Kentucky area. Bob’s great, great grandfather William Christian served in the Revolutionary War under Captain Dabney of the 1st Virginia Regiment and fought in the battles of Camplin and Goochland Mill.
During his life, Bob was a member of Central Christian Church and later Southland Christian Church in Lexington. Bob was a member of the Greatest Generation, which is widely known to have contributed much prosperity, peace and success to the world.
Visitation and Celebration of Life will be held on Tuesday, October 12 from noon-2 at Milward-Man O' War, 1509 Trent Blvd, Lexington KY 40515. A funeral with Military Honors will follow at Lexington Cemetery at 3:15 pm. All are welcome to attend.
In lieu of flowers, please send donations to the American Cancer Society.