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.