This tree is planted to honor the life and memory of Lillian May Christopher, known as Lily to her friends. Her family felt this was the perfect spot since so much of their daughters life was spent in these parks. Lily loved “hanging out” here with friends. She loved dipping her toes in the fountain on hot summer days, reading and drawing under the canopy of the beautiful shade trees, and the snowball fights in the winter time. So much of Lily’s appreciation of life was shaped here, and so many of life’s firsts took place here.
Lily spent most of her life in Waynesburg. She was born in Greene County Memorial Hospital on May 15, 1960. She was the first of two daughters born to John & Dixie Christopher. Lily’s father, John, was a cross country pipe liner by trade, so the first 4 years of her life were spent traveling throughout the United States. In one tiny South Dakota town, the day the family was packing to move to a new job site, Lily, who was about 4, was in the front yard of the house they had rented. Her parents realized she had befriended nearly everyone in town when they noticed all the townsfolk streaming by to say goodbye to Lily. That was the effect she had on people her entire life.
The family moved back to Greene County in 1968. Lily’s parents purchased two restaurants in Waynesburg, The Delecto Drive In and the Chicken House. They later built the Iron Griddle Restaurant. As a young girl, she would help out in the restaurant until her graduation from high school in 1978. Lily had an incredible sense of adventure and knew no fear. Once at the age of 12, she and an older cousin rode their bikes down Rt.188 to visit their grandparents in Pit Gas, 13 miles away. After they arrived, both realized they were too fatigued to ride home and had to call for someone to come and get them and their bikes. One of her favorite past times was tormenting her younger sister, Mary Charlotte. The most memorable were the many times Lily would hang Charlotte’s favorite stuffed animal “Pete" out the second story window in a Lilac tree just inches out of Charlotte’s reach, or the time she made a tape recording of heavy breathing and placed it in her sisters closet.
While in high school she graduated from Barbizon School of Modeling and entered the Miss Pittsburgh Pageant and placed 2nd. Lily was a talented artist. Her most beautiful drawings were done in pencil.
After graduating high school, Lily enrolled in Bauder Fashion College in Miami, Florida where she spent 6 months before returning home to marry her first love, Paul Kraich. While married, she resumed her studies at Waynesburg College and work full time as a manager of her family’s restaurant. Unfortunately, the marriage ended in divorce a few years later. Lily continued to pursue her college degree, and enrolled in Penn State University- Fayette Campus.
Her sense of adventure showed itself in the crazy kinds of pets she would choose. She once had a dog that got car sick, a 6 toed cat, and a skunk she tried to litter train.
On September 19, 1984, at the age of 24, Lily died from injuries she received in an automobile accident. Her organs were donated according to her wishes.
Lily was a tiny person only standing 5’3" and weighing 100 pounds, but she had a laugh that could fill a room. She truly enjoyed life. Although the hearts of those who loved and knew her will forever ache to hear her laugh again, we will never ever forget her.
Written in loving memory by her family, 2005.