Friday, January 22, 2010

RIP Connie

Well tonight is one of those nights. 

You know how it is…up late, drink in hand (Old Masters) and searching on the internet.

Tonight I was attempting to track down some old friends when I lived in Augsburg…only to find an OBIT for one of them, Mrs Connie Smith Christiansen.

I first met Connie in 1992.  I had just transferred to Project Trojan in Augsburg and was awaiting my security clearance to transfer over.

Her husband Mike was also assigned to the TRISA as our Electrician.

This was following the “living on the streets” days, and I think Connie and Mike both filled those parental roles for me in Germany.  They both took me (and to a slighter extent G & J) under their wing, providing a bit of home and comfort in a country that at times could be a bit odd.

How does this relate to Smokes and Booze?  Because these two did just that.  As I started to say, the first time I met Connie….it was 8:00AM and she was drinking a screwdriver and had a hip flask ready to pass around to everyone. 

I later learned that going to lunch over at their house in Gersthofen meant AT LEAST 3 or 4 Cocktails. 

If you went anywhere with them, Connie always had your favorite drink in a plastic cup for the roadtrip (she was against traveling with glass in the call….something that has stuck with me to this day). 

Multiple excursions to Weisbaden had us spending many a night in the bar (see my article HERE referencing that Hotel Bar), and at no time did I feel I was being spoke down to because of my age (at the time, I was the youngest person working for MANTECH).

To give people an idea of how much they consumed, if you were ever in Europe with the Military….you recall Ration Cards (dont ask if you dont get it…stupid rule).  They would go through BOTH of their monthly allotments in Cigarettes and Hard Liquor a month.  G & J at the Shoppette wouldn't even mark theirs because they were always out and bumming from others.

But don’t get me wrong….they were great drunkards and awesome people.  I contend that there has never been a more caring woman that walked the face of the earth (and ment it) than Connie.  Her and Mike would do anything for you and there was never a negative moment with them.

Under their watchful eye, I went from Minor League drinking to the Pros…..and I would gladly thank them for it today.

Connie passed away in 2003, I’m assuming off the disease/illness she contracted in Germany back in 1996.  It appears that Mike was later stationed at Harrogate (in England) and they both spent some time there….with Connie continuing her love for fishing.

In 2005, Mike returned to England to create a legacy in Connie’s name with the Nidderdale Angling Club.  Even in death, she wanted to give back.


Connie……you were definitely one of the best.  I owe you and Mike so much for making me who I am today.  I pray that you found peace and rest at last….and tonight, I’m having a drink for you.

RIP “Ma”


  1. Such sad news... passing of a very sweet Lady.

    I don't have the words.


  2. I think I would have liked these people

  3. Randy....they were exactly the type of people you would enjoy.

    Connie was teh sweetest and Mike the funnest.

    You have no idea what a great combination they were.

    So often, you search you whole life for your soulmate.

    Much like I found mine in Debi.....Mike found his in Connie. Abbott and Castello, Laurel and Harndy or Martin and Lewis....those two ranked right up there.

    Hopefully soon I will be talking with Mike...because I could see him as a ship without a rudder...and I would do anything for him, that's how much he changed my life.

  4. Hi Ed, It was a surprise to see a blog about my mom today as I was searching for her birth year, making sure I had it right. I am glad you had the privilege of knowing her. She really was always fun to be around and the most generous person I have ever known. I'm only taking the time to post this because you were unsure of her cause of death. Seeing your blog title, I think you should know. She died of severe liver and kidney disease, due to years of excessive alcohol use as you are clearly aware of. She was only 54 years old, and Mike has been lost without her. She realized all too late that it was time to stop(about two weeks before her death). I think if she could send you a message now it would be, "stop while you are still young enough to recover and heal". Dying as she did was painful and scary for her and those of us that were blessed to be with her and care for her in those last days. If not for yourself, do it for your kids. Your friendly public service announcement.....from Connie's youngest

  5. Connie's Youngest - First and formost, let me say how truely sorry I am for you loss. Connie really was like a mother to me.

    I would love to talk with Mike again, so if you have time - drop me an email


Web Statistics