Christopher Brannon Eubanks
July 24, 1943 – November 23, 2018
Christopher Brannon Eubanks, 75, died peacefully at her home in Portland, Oregon, on November 23, 2018. Chris was born on July 24, 1943, in Walla Walla, Washington to Richard Winston and Anne Casler Eubanks. She was the second of four daughters and was named for her paternal grandfather.
She attended Sharpstein Elementary, Garrison Junior High, and graduated from Walla Walla High School in 1961. Chris’s mother always stated that she was so smart and so bored in school, that she was always in trouble. Indeed, as the Girls’ League president in high school, Chris was suspended for wearing jeans in protest. She was funny, brilliant and a rule breaker for the entirety of her life. A favorite place throughout her school years was Camp Sweyolakan (Spokane Council of Camp Fire Girls) on Coeur d’Alene Lake, where Chris worked as a counselor and the camp bugler.
Chris attended Stephens College (an all-women’s two-year college) in Columbia, Missouri. She continued her education at the University of Washington and graduated with a 4.0 and a bachelor’s degree in political science in 1965. She maintains that she never went to class and spent those two years playing bridge in her dorm. During the summers, Chris worked as the director of the Happy Day Camp for developmentally disabled children at Fort Walla Walla.
Chris started her career with the King County Parks Department as the director of the Bellevue Highlands Fieldhouse in Bellevue, Washington. All throughout her young life, she participated in athletic endeavors, most notably as a slow-pitch softball catcher. These pursuits served her well in her chosen career of recreation. At the King County Parks Department, she was promoted to the position of Supervisor for Special Services, putting her in charge of recreational services for seniors and the disabled for all of King County. She was an early organizer for Special Olympics, both at the state and national level.
Chris began traveling frequently to Hawaii in the 1970s and fell in love with the people, music, culture and language. In 1978, at the ripe old age of 35, she retired from her position with King County and moved to Honolulu. She spent her days visiting various libraries all across Oahu. It was not long before she was reading at least one thousand books a year, recording and rating every book that she read. Subsequently, Chris had an encyclopedic knowledge of many things—she read fiction, books about science and nature, history, biographies, mysteries, children’s books, and cookbooks, just to name a few. When her health started to decline in 2014, she moved to Portland, Oregon, to be closer to her sisters.
All her life, Chris was a magnet for young people, starting with her little sisters, Meg and Kathy (who were 12 and 13 years younger than Chris). She took them on camping trips throughout Washington, Oregon and British Columbia and was always teaching in an understated and fun way. When Kathy was not allowed to participate in a summer reading program at the library because she was only four, Chris made up a custom reading program for her. Meg and Kathy always “cleaned up” with beads at Camp Fire ceremonials because Chris made sure that everything they learned while with her was meticulously recorded and reported. She was undoubtedly the favorite aunt of her two nephews, Evan Bird, whom she called E. Christopher because he was named after her; and Andrew Zahl, whom she dubbed Andy-Boy, in the Hawaiian vernacular.
She was preceded in death by her parents and sister, Stephanie Eubanks McDougal. She is survived by her sisters Meg Eubanks of Tacoma, Washington; and, Kathryn Zahl (Jerry) of Walla Walla, Washington. She also leaves nephews Evan Bird (son of Meg) of Nashville, Tennessee, and Andrew Zahl (son of Kathryn) of Loveland, Colorado. Additionally, she is survived by numerous cousins on the Eubanks and Casler sides. There will be no service, at her request.
It is impossible to state how much she will be missed. ‘A hui hou and aloha, dearest Chris.
Christopher Brannon Eubanks
Nora Jane Carpenter
December 9, 2018
What a lovely rememberance for a very memorable person. I remember Chris as always a personality larger than any room she was in. I recall her at your parents kitchen in their Walla Walla house.
Sending hugs from your Idaho-sort of cousins. Nora Jane Passmore
December 7, 2018
I remember being a transplant to Walla Walla from California and meeting Chrissy! We lived across the street and Chris arrived with...well almost hurricane force! How could a 12 year old not love the wise, wise cracking, equalitarian, caring, inquisitive Chris??? The girl with the boy name, the kind person to a lost transplanted child from a strange and mythical mountain! That was Chris to me! I just loved her! (As we all did!)
December 4, 2018