In memory of

Christie Messer, age 52, of Helena

June 17, 1967 – November 20, 2019

Christie “Chris” Ellen List Messer

On the morning of November 20th, Christie passed away in the home where she grew up. Christie died of complications from alcoholism and mental illness. She was 52 years old.

Christie Ellen List was born on June 17th, 1967, in Burlington, Vermont as the first child of her adoptive parents, Deanna Mae and William Dawson List.

Starting at a young age, Christie had a great love for horses. She was an exceptional horseback rider and won many blue ribbons during high school and then again after college in the state of Nevada. Monaco, Tiger, Kisentel, and Grace were her most beloved horses. She passed on her love of riding to her niece, Abigail and to her dear friend Melissa’s four girls.

Christie had many talents and everything she pursued she mastered. She was a beautiful violinist and singer, sharing her musical talents in her friends’ weddings. Christie graduated from Montana State University, focusing on Native American Studies and Political Science. She was an active member of the Chi Omega Sorority at MSU.

After college, Christie briefly lived in Seattle and Albuquerque. For several years, Christie lived in Reno, Nevada working for Manpower Temp Agency and Douglas County Schools. She had a brief marriage to Ron Sparks while living in Reno.

Once Christie moved back to Helena, she pursued work at the Holter Museum of Art and at the Stockgrower’s Association. Christie briefly remarried to Nathan Messer, who still resides in the area. Christie pursued an online degree from the University of Phoenix in addictions counseling. She would have been a great counselor, having helped various people with her wisdom and personal experience with alcohol addiction.

Christie had a passion for all living creatures. She had two dogs, Stinker and Oliver, who were the loves of her life. She left behind a darling Persian cat (a breed she had wanted since a little girl) named Poppy.

In addition to her pets, Christie loved her niece and nephews with all of her heart. They called her Aunt CC and she spoiled them, letting them get away with all sorts of shenanigans frowned upon by their parents. Family was incredibly important to Christie and she loved her family and pets so completely and unconditionally that sometimes she forgot to love herself.

Those who knew Christie thought the world of her. She was generous to a fault. Her sense of sarcasm rivaled some of the best comedians. Christie had a great memory for trivia, Trivial Pursuit being one of her favorite board games.  She could be the life of the party. Her favorite season was Fall and Halloween her favorite holiday; however, she loved Christmas because of her faith, and her generosity was perfect for such a giving holiday.

Christie is survived by her father and mother, Dawson and Deanna List; brother, Chuck List (Corinne Dyke); sister, Andrea Eckerson (David) and their children Abigail, Logan, and Grant; friend and caretaker of Christie’s mom, Melissa Peltier (Russel) and their daughters.

In lieu of flowers, please donate to NAMI, the Humane Society, a local horse rescue, or a non-profit of your choice. Christie’s gravesite is to be in Forestvale Cemetery in Helena, Montana. A simple graveside service will take place December 11th at 2pm with a potluck reception afterwards at the List residence. Please visit below to offer the family a condolence or share a memory of Christie.

A special thank you to Helena’s First Responders, St. Peter’s Hospital Emergency Room Staff and Behavioral Health Unit Staff. You saw Christie a lot in the past months and we are forever grateful to you for your professionalism, patience, and kindness. The List family is especially appreciative to Wally, who always responded when he knew it was Christie’s address.

If you are wanting to take your own life, please call the Suicide Hotline at 1-800-273-8255. You matter. You are loved. You will be missed.


Read the thoughts and memories, then feel free to add your own.

  1. My thoughts and prayers are with you, Dawson, Deanna and family. Fly high Christie. You’ve gained your angel wings. You’ll be missed greatly. Rest in peace sweet lady.

  2. Teresa Schulz says

    Dawson & Dee. I am so saddened by this news. Our prayers are for your family.

  3. Bridget Guerin says

    I am so sorry for your loss! Andrea and family – you will be in my thoughts and prayers.
    Bridget and family

  4. Don and Barb Schultz says

    Dawson and Dee
    What a great loss of such a beautiful person and such a loss to a great and loving family. We grieve the loss with you. My the good Lord help comfort your family through this trying period.
    Don and Barb Schultz

  5. Leslie Stoll O'Neill says

    My heart breaks for you all. Chris and I had so much fun together being silly, showing horses, and playing in the symphony. I’ll always remember her wit and talent. Sending you all love and peace right now.

  6. My sincerest condolences to the family. Chris and I were high school classmates. She was a beautiful person, inside and out. My family and I send our sympathies to the List family.

    Robyn (Bayless) Ward
    Daughter of Steve and Judy Bayless

  7. Mike Hausler says

    This is so sad to hear. I remember Chris from high school. When I saw her picture on Leslie’s profile, I new her immediately. She hadn’t changed a bit. Heartfelt prayers to the the families involved.
    Mike and Shannon Hausler

  8. Dear List Family, We are so sad to hear of this tragedy . In days to come, good memories will ease
    the sadness. In the meantime, you are all in our prayers. Bea Rizza

  9. Bill Coddington says

    Dear Dee and Dawson, we were so shocked and saddened to read about Christie’s passing. She loved you two more than anything in the world and we know from our friendship with you that you loved her back x 10 – her whole life. We are so sorry for your loss.
    Bill and Judy Coddington

  10. My prayers are with your family. So sad to read of another passing of our classmates.

  11. Meg Beveridge says

    Dear List family- So many of us who knew Chris from our early years at Central, HJH and Helena High are holding you in our hearts. I will always remember the twinkle in her eye and her laugh when she talked about playing violin, riding her horses, and most important- things she was doing with her family. Dr. And Mrs. List and Chuck and Andrea I’m so sorry for your loss.

  12. Mary Kay Bennett says

    I only knew Chris as a little girl..bright, bubbly, beautiful and fun!
    George and I send our love and prayers to the entire family.
    I am so sorry, Dawson, Dee, Chuck & Andrea.
    Mary Kay & George Bennett

  13. Bridgette Mazurek says

    Dawson, Dee, and Family
    I’m so sad to loose a dear friend. Christie was such a wonderful and accomplished woman.
    She made me laugh and she made me cry. She will be missed by all who knew her…
    My thoughts are with you Christie and I keep you in my pocket!

  14. Pat Christian says

    Deepest condolences on your loss. I did not know Christie but from the obituary I can see the world lost a wonderful person. Thank you for sharing her story and for your courage and compassion.

  15. Jill Deeter says

    I was deeply saddened to hear of Christie’s passing. My daughter, Kelle, and I met Christie 28 years ago through horse showing. We loved her very much. My memories include supporting each other at shows, laughing at Christie’s fabulous sense of humor and having her come to my house on her lunch breaks for grilled cheese!! Sadly, our only recent communication had been through Facebook but I will always consider her a close, dear friend. Sending condolences and love to her family. I pray that God has His arms wrapped tightly around you to get you through this sad time.

  16. Chris and Rich Snyder says

    Dawson and Dee, and family,
    My heart breaks for you at this time. It is so hard when a child struggles. You want to fix everything, but then we realize we can’t. Know that you did everything you could, that Christie knows that, and that she loves you so much. She was loved by so many, and made an impact on many lives. Our thoughts and prayers are with you during this time. We love you.

  17. Oh Christie, i am so sorry to hear of your passing. You were a great light in this world. I loved working with you at the Arab club horse shows. There are no words to express my sadness that you are not longer in this world. Sending love and prayers to your family.

  18. Judy Griffith says

    Dawson, Dee and Family,
    I was deeply touched by your loving portrayal of Christy’s life story, the triumpths and the struggles. She was an amazing young woman. My heart aches for her and all of you. I pray that you soon find comfort and peace of mind in knowing you were there for her, through all the joys and challenges and that she loved you and knew she was loved.

  19. Christian Hughes says

    I am so sorry for your loss of Christie… she was such a beautiful soul… my best always

  20. I am so sorry for your loss. I was in the Chi-O house with Chris at MSU. I have the fondest memories of Chris. She was ALWAYS so much fun to be around. She was funny and quick to laugh herself. She was the type of person that lit up a room when she entered it. I will miss her.

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