Viola Christison

Posted: Sunday, September 06, 2009

Former Juneau resident Viola Smith Christison died of natural causes on Sept. 2, 2009, at a Montana health care facility. She was 102.

She was born Jan. 5, 1907, in Helena, Mont., the sixth child of Judge J. Miller Smith and Viola (Wynne) Smith. She graduated from Helena High School and attended the former Intermountain College in Helena and the School of Finance in New Jersey.

She worked as a law clerk in the Smith Family Law Firm, where her father was a district judge and three of her brothers were lawyers. She was a secretary to the Fish and Game Commission, a stenographer for the Montana House of Representatives, secretary at the Helena Masonic Lodge, and secretary to the Director of the Montana TB Association, all in Helena.

She met Leslie A. Christison at a country dance in the Helena valley. They were married in Helena in 1929 and resided there until 1951 when they moved to Great Falls. They were partners in the Dundas Office Supply in Great Falls. They were great dancers, loved playing golf, hiking, playing cards with friends, and enjoyed traveling to Alaska a number of times to visit their daughter and her family.

She was ordained a Deacon in the First Presbyterian Church, served as State Easter Seals sales chairman, and was a member of the Josephine Hepner chapter, Order of Eastern Star.

The couple was married just one week short of 70 years when he died in 1999. She was also preceded in death by her parents; four brothers, Kelsey, Dave, Paul and Jim Smith; a sister, Ruth Purdum; and two nephews and two nieces.

She is survived by a daughter, Connie Moss and husband, Kenneth, of Great Falls; a granddaughter, Jeanne Cox and husband, Chuck, of Everett, Wash.; a grandson, Tom Stewart and wife, Nelda, of Juneau; and four great-grandsons, three nieces and two nephews.

"Wrapped in God's arms for eternity, we, her loving family, bid her farewell," her family said.

Cremation has taken place under the direction of Croxford Funeral Home and Crematory in Great Falls. At her request, only her immediate family will attend a memorial and scattering of ashes.

Memorials are suggested to a charity of the donor's choice. Condolences may be left at

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