This was as it should be. Recently asked her preference regarding her obituary, she said that she wanted it to state, simply, “She be gone...” This is classic Chris. However, dissuaded from this course by friends and family, who were convinced that a mere three words would not suffice:
“Chris,” as she was known to her intimates, was born, Christine Koblegard Minshall, on October 5, 1919 in Tulsa, Okla. to E. R. Minshall and Marie Koblegard Minshall. The Minshalls settled in Oklahoma prior to statehood, and Mr. Minshall was one of the area's earliest independent oilmen. Although the family’s principal residence remained Tulsa, throughout her childhood, Chris’ family generally summered in Petoskey, Mich. and wintered in Ft. Pierce, where enclaves of Koblegards and Minshalls were located.
This “moving about” was an early family tradition to which her family attributes Chris’ wanderlust and life-long love of the road.
She was a graduate of Tulsa’s Holland Hall college preparatory school (1937) and the University of Tulsa (1941). She married H. C. Haynes of Clarksburg, WV in 1942 and is survived by her five children from that union: Robert Alexander Haynes III, Cambridge, MD; David Read Haynes, Wrightsville, PA; Sarah Haynes Cowan, Fredericksburg, VA; Richard Blackmur Haynes, Santa Cruz, CA; and Diana Haynes Runyon, Boca Grande.
In addition to seven grandchildren and two great-grandchildren, Chris, is survived by many nieces & nephews.
Chris was preceded in death by her three siblings, Paul L. Minshall, E. R. Minshall, Jr. ("Buzzy"), and Virginia Minshall Zehring, and is survived by one first cousin, Jane Minshall, of San Diego, CA.
Chris was the niece of Marie Selby of Sarasota and, like her Aunt Marie, one of whose endowments created the Marie Selby Botanical Gardens.
Chris inherited a great love of plants and gardening. Chris, a Master Gardener, was instrumental in the establishment of the Heathcote Botanical Gardens of Fort Pierce, having been a major contributor to that organization’s vision, labor and resources.
Chris’ life is defined, in large part, by her intelligence, curiosity, love of the visual arts, books and music, an interest in other cultures, keen sense of social justice, and, her notable generosity to family, friends and worthy causes. Her friends were many and varied. Of note, in her later years she counted among her great friends many people, much younger than her, who were drawn irresistibly to her vivacity and passion for life.
Despite their sadness at her passing, her family and friends are warmed by the very real knowledge that much of who she was, is being passed on through them as a result of their expression of those same qualities – her gift to them.
In recent years, Chris has called several places “home,” maintaining residences in Fredericksburg, Va., Mt. Lake Park, Md. and Boca Grande, and rotating between the three as it suited her.
At her request Chris’ ashes, in equal parts will be, cast into the Gulf of Mexico near Boca Grande and interred at the Oakland Cemetery, near Mt. Lake Park.
A memorial service will be held in Mt. Lake Park, Md. this summer, presided over by long-time friend and neighbor the Rev. Manning Smith, followed by a wake, complete with music provided by a Dixieland Jazz Band.
She would approve.
A firm date has not been set; rather, the event will take place, as Chris would have said, “after it has warmed up enough that the oak leaves are the size of a squirrel’s ear.”
In lieu of flowers, please consider making a donation in Chris’ name to the Boca Grande Health Clinic, Heathcote Botanical Gardens or The Nature Conservancy. You may also share anecdotes and photos, and express condolences at www.englewoodfh.com.
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