Lila Rae (Ward) Christian, Payette, ID was born March 23, 1923 in Wendell, ID, to Fannie (Coates) Ward and Raymond O. Ward. Rae passed away January 26, 2019 in Payette. She grew up with her two older sisters, Jane (Lambing) and Patricia (Turner). She went to Wendell schools where she was a cheerleader, played basketball and was the Drum Majorette for the marching band. She and her best friend Carol Sagers wrote the Wendell School song that they still use today. She rode horses every morning before school with her sister Jane. Rae went on to the College of Idaho (said she cried the whole way) where she was also a cheerleader and got a teaching degree. She was set up on a date with James M. Christian and became engaged. Jim joined the Marines and while at Officers School, Rae went on to Teachers School at Albion. They were married May 6, 1944 on Coronado Island, CA before Jim shipped out to Japan during WWII. They wasted a day when they were put on different floors at the Hotel. While Jim was away, Rae taught 4th Grade in Gooding, Idaho. When Jim came home from the war, they lived in Wendell for a time, went to Payette to visit and stayed where they lived for over 70 years in the home that Jim built, with the help of his father. They raised their 3 sons, Jim, Lon, Del and daughter, Ann in that home.
Rae loved to get together and laugh with family and many friends and neighbors. Her long time friends were her neighbors, Ike and Kenny Frazier and Mary Lou and Dwaine Welch. One of the funniest gatherings was ‘Come As You Are’. After kids had gone to school, one lady friend would call out of the blue and the women would gather for coffee and coffee cake in whatever they were wearing at the time of the call….robes, curlers, nighties.
Rae worked at the Payette Nursing Home as a Grey Lady, substituted at all school levels, a teachers aid at Payette Elementary, volunteered with reading at the Payette Library, worked at Josephson’s Packing Sheds, book-keeper for Manser Ford, and helped out at Christian Feed Mill. She loved to be outside puttering around in the yard and tending roses that Jim would plant for her. She kept the cleanest kids when camping nearly every weekend with flowers on the table and used rubber gloves when fishing. Rae liked to play Bridge, ski, and loved her cats and dogs. At 15 she played the Clarinet and took it back up at 75 with the TVCC Community Band. Rae was an active member of P.E.O. Chapter C for 64 years, an Eastern Star and loved her little church, St. James Episcopal Church. Rae and Jim took cruises to Mexico, Panama Canal, the Caribbean, and Alaska. Several East and West Coast trips were with Bowmans, Hanigans, Welchs and Fraziers. Always the cheerleader, she was an avid supporter at her kids’ and grandkids’ sports and school activities.
Rae is survived by her sister, Patricia Turner, sons Jim (Sue), Lon, Del (Deb), daughter Ann (Jess Mooney), Grandsons Matt (Gwen)-kids Matthew & DeAnna , Andy (Heather)-kids Andrew & Katheryne, Nate (Crystal)-kids Caitlin, Nathan & Lucas, Mac (Rachel)-kids Kaiden & John, Dan and Granddaughter Ashlie, Gr Gr Granddaughter Aby.
The best lesson she taught us was to laugh….at ourselves.
A memorial will take place at a later date this spring in Payette.
Thank you from your kids. Toodle doo and Taa-Taa