Lloyd Edward Christman III
August 13, 1947 – June 30, 2020
Lloyd Edward Christman, III was born on August 13th, 1947 in a hospital in Monroe, Louisiana to Lloyd Edward Christman, Jr. and Catherine Stringer Christman. They called him Eddie. His innate wonder and joviality inspired and delighted them. The family moved to Texas City in 1951, to a house near a small, undeveloped wooded area. To Eddie, the woods were the undiscovered frontier, a wild place full of adventures with risks, both imagined and real. When not outdoors, Eddie nursed his dreams on westerns and science fiction. Growing up, he became a consummate bowler in his parents’ bowling alley, fished all over the bays, rebuilt vintage cars in his garage, and had innumerable adventures with his friends Jerry, Charlie, and the other Jerry. Eddie knew the secret of how to have a good time, and he kept it with a puckish grin.
While in high school, on a beautiful summer day, he discovered his first passion, surfing. Eddie spent the greater part of a decade out in the water. The world held no greater thrill than the next wave, the rise and fall of freedom, the crash of the water, the blazing summer sun that seemed to stretch out a ride through a pipeline into eternity, only to wipe out too soon, but not forever, because the shore was but a short distance from the next swell. His personal soundtrack of the Beach Boys, the Ventures, Jan & Dean, and the Beatles ran continuously in his head as he rode the waves.
Eddie extended his summer by surfing year-round, attending Alvin Junior College and then on to Texas A&I University Kingsville where he wasn’t too far from the waves off of Padre Island. The Gulf of Mexico afforded the young man Eddie many joys and many opportunities too. His good friend and sometime mentor, Paul Bartlett, helped Eddie secure a job as an operator at one of the Dow Chemical Company’s plants. Eddie never knew a stranger and soon fell right in with his coworkers. At this junction in life, Eddie became Ed.
At the age of 27, he bought a Canon F1 camera, to give it a try, and a new frontier opened before him. Obsessed, he read every photography book and magazine he could get his hands on. Hours devoted to instructional videos and studies on the intricacies of light, exposure, angles, postures, positions, colors, forms, and perspectives disciplined his ranging eye into a focused vision. He experimented by setting off into the wetlands to hone his craft in the wilds and beaches he so loved. He took portraits, photographed his first weddings, and steadily built up a portfolio that would help him to his next position at Dow as the Head Photographer for the Communications Department. Before there were drones to capture the aerial images of the plants, there was Ed, climbing hundreds of feet up, leaning at precipitous angles, or dangling out the window of a helicopter to get just the right, albeit harrowing, perspective. Even when a little dizzy from the heights, Ed kept a grin on his face. He had reason to smile too, for he had seen beauty, not what lies behind the camera, but in the person of Karla Ann Henderson.
Ed met Karla while she was working in a local photo booth. When he asked her out, she checked her calendar and gave him a weekday, a month out. Undeterred, if not enchanted, he marked it down and waited patiently. On that date a month later, between the tacos, the champagne, and all the belly laughs, Ed fell in love. Karla and Ed married in a garden ceremony in her parent’s home on September 3rd, 1983. From Karla this only child gained a sprawling family of bonus parents, brothers, sisters, nieces, and nephews who embraced him with a warmth and tenderness that stretched his conception of the possibilities of love and life. As always, Ed threw himself into it, without a second thought, and he would tell you that it was the best decision he ever made.
Shortly thereafter, Ed embraced yet another most important passion, he became a father, first to Katherine, then to Zachary, and from there, the Christman family truly began. Ed’s default position was to love and to accept, so when Rory Juneman, a young man in school, needed a part-time family, Ed and Karla opened their home to him. Nieces, nephews, and friends alike were always welcome in the house that was filled with laughter, music, and just plain silliness.
While raising his family, Ed became one of the most popular photographers of Brazoria County. Early evenings—when the light was perfect—weekends, and holidays were filled with portraits, weddings, celebrations. Attired in a utility vest and a broad-brimmed hat, he captured moments of joy, solemnity, achievement, honor, camaraderie, daring, and love. Ed taught people to see, to focus on the light in the eyes, to find a person’s best angle, and—as light does—to illumine the beauty sometimes concealed by shadow. In his art, whether a portrait, a candid shot, a cityscape, an industrial, a shell in the sand, or an old oak draped in Spanish moss at dusk, Ed found the uncanny perfection hidden in plain sight. He showed us ourselves and our world as only he could see them.
Ed’s love and passion will live on in his photographs but most importantly, through his grandchildren, Dottie and August LeFave. These two were the newest loves of his life, and they brought him immense joy in his final years.
After a long illness wherein he defied death more times than we know, Lloyd Edward Christman, III died on the evening of June 30th, 2020 surrounded by family: his nephew Jeff, his children Katie and Zach, and Karla—his wife of thirty-six years. He passed into his final rest as they recounted his garden wedding, the family and friends who attended, and the love shared that September in ’83.
Ed Christman is preceded in death by his parents Lloyd & Catherine Christman, father and mother in-law Vincent & Fern Henderson, brother in-law Bill Hodges, sister in-law Lucilla Henderson, and beloved son-in-law Daniel LeFave. He is survived by his loving wife Karla Henderson Christman, daughter Katie LeFave, son Zach Christman, daughter in-law Mary Grace Bayer, and grandchildren Dottie and August LeFave. Ed is also survived by Rory & Dr. Elizabeth Juneman (Audrey & Eleanor) along with many Heckendorns, Silvertooths, Hodges, Hendersons, Luces, Funks and many dear friends.
The Christman family wishes to especially thank dear friends Dr. Howard and Becky LaRoche for their guidance, love and counsel throughout Ed’s lengthy illness.
A private, family-only Funeral Mass will be held Thursday, July 9, 11:00 am, at St. Michael the Archangel Catholic Church in Lake Jackson, with a celebration of life service to be held at a later date. The Mass will be streamed live for friends and the community. A link will be shared on social media. Honorary pall bearers include: Rob Heckendorn, Chad Funk, Jeff Silvertooth, Eric Henderson, Indy Henderson, Jay Luce, Jayson Luce, Jon Bennet, and Steve Snell. In lieu of flowers, the family asks that donations be made to the Brazosport ISD Education Foundation for use by the Brazoswood High School Theatre Department.
Lloyd Edward Christman III
July 8, 2020
Sorry to hear about loss of your beloved Ed.
I just want to echo some of the words in the Obit about Ed. He and I worked together in the Photography Department at Dow Chemical. Yes, indeed, Ed was cheerful, nice, helpful, respectful, pleasant, etc., etc., etc.
Karla, my condolences to you and the family. God bless you all!
July 7, 2020
What a beautifully written, beautiful story of life and love. Ed (as I knew him), was a gentle, kind man, and a fine example to others! Our hearts and prayers are with you and your family, Karla. I pray that your sweet memories of Ed will help ease your pain during this sad time. ❤️ Love, Rickey & Belinda Edge
July 7, 2020
So many wonderful Sunday dinners! And the countless couples that had their life event pictures shot by Ed. (We did and the pictures were amazing!) I joked that I have professional pictures of my dog Emma because he was trying to get the light right for bridal portraits.
July 7, 2020
Ed was a very kind and wonderful soul. We met through his photography activities at Dow (especially his help in marketing the MS150 Team - on film and tape!) After Dow we’d run into each other out in the community and always stop to catch up. There was always something to talk about.
Condolences to the Christman family. We grieve for your loss.
A life well lived.
Lloyd and Brenda Colegrove.
July 7, 2020
Ed was one in a million. He took the only photograph of me that I ever liked. At the publicity shoot for a play we were doing he tried to get me to smile and when I wouldn't and turned away, he caught a glimpse of me that I seldom showed to anyone. But Ed found it and when he showed me the proofs of the picture, he said, "I think I captured your Soul". I think he did. He captured lots of Souls along the way. I can't imagine how much his family and friends will miss him. I haven't seen Ed in years, but the man who captured my Soul will always live in my heart. God rest your Soul, Ed. Love you.
Dick & Barbara Robue
July 2, 2020
Dear Karla, we are so sorry for your loss.
We will never forget Ed coming to our home on good Friday to take a family picture of my mom and her grandkids. That was March 29, 2013. Who knew we would only have her three more months. Ed was a precious precious man.
Our prayers are with you.
Blessings, Dick and Barbara