Former ATC Board member and AMC Trails Committee Chair, Doug Christie, of West Hartford, Connecticut, died in December. Doug was a “can do” guy who threw himself into A.T. work with the Connecticut Chapter of the Appalachian Mountain Club. Beginning in 1985, he maintained the northern-most Mt Riga section. He later became active in AMC conservation programs, and joined the ATC Board on its Trail and Land Management Committee to help oversee care of the whole Appalachian National Scenic Trail.
As a retired principal of a large suburban high school, Christie had the skills and temperment to tackle sophisticated A.T. issues and strong personalities. When excited, he would get in your face and keep after you, and would often prevail but in a manner that was kindly and wise. As a tag-team with Dick Blake and Norm Sills, Doug helped lead AMC’s efforts along the 51-mile Connecticut section in the late-1980’s through the 1990s. Doug always welcomed beginners, both volunteers and staff. Maintainer Harlen Jessup recalls that, when building trail, Doug always insisted on natural materials, and was so enthusiastic, that he rarely quit work until it was too dark to see. Doug was constant in reaching out to new maintainers and Trail neighbors, and in achieving the very best for both Connecticut and the A.T. overall. Christie’s work lives on in the great range that bears his efforts, and in the many people he taught, encouraged and loved.
Memories of Doug
I first met Doug in 1985 when I was a ridgerunner in Connecticut. He was a mentor for me then and continued to be years later when I came on board with the Appalachian Trail Park Office. Doug was always a conduit to good things. I will remember him always.
– Rita Hennessy, Outdoor Recreation Specialist, Appalachian Trail Park Office
He was a great mentor for me in my early days as an associate field rep. I particularly remember getting a tour of the A.T. in Connecticut during my first month on the job. He lived a blessed life.
– J.T. Horn, Former New England Regional Director, Appalachian Trail Conservancy
Doug was always a source of encouragement to me. Often when Doug sent me a note or letter, he’d include some remark like “you’re doing a great job” which really meant a lot to me coming from him. Something else I admired about Doug; some guys curse when they hurt themselves, Doug was the type of person who would laugh about it. His good nature, dedication, and sincerity will be missed.
– Dave Boone, Trails Chair, Appalachian Mountain Club, Connecticut Chapter