July 11, 1954 — Jan. 9, 2019
John Pierce Christie, known to many as “Pierce,” died peacefully in his home on Jan. 9, 2019. Pierce was born July 11, 1954, in Salem, Oregon, to John and Margaret Christie. The following year the family moved to Astoria, where Pierce spent most of his life.
As a child, Pierce participated in 4-H, bucked hay bales at neighboring farms, and lived the rural Olney experience. He attended Olney School and Lewis and Clark Elementary as a child, and graduated from Astoria High School in 1972. As an adolescent, he fell in love with music, which shaped much of his life.
In adulthood, Pierce wore many hats, including drummer, guitarist, pizza chef, “Shanghaied” actor, painter of Victorian houses, film extra, trolley advocate, KMUN DJ and, most notably, longtime owner of the Mallternative on Marine Drive. He also fathered three children, Heather, Ruth and Ponce Christie, and was stepfather to Jonnie Blue, Brendan and Isaac Dunne.
Pierce loved to make pizza or barbecued salmon and oysters for parties and family gatherings. His heart was deep and wide, and he always had space for a new friend. He charmed many people with his friendliness and witty sense of humor.
For a time, Pierce moved to northern Idaho, where he opened another store, Main Street Music and Game, in Sandpoint. There he enjoyed hiking and canoeing around Lake Pend Oreille with his wife, Connie. His immense appreciation of the world’s beauty followed him wherever he went.
He also deeply appreciated good deals — in Astoria, Sandpoint, and on the road between, he could often be found at Goodwill or local rummage sales sifting through the mundane clutter to find treasures that would become merchandise in his stores.
Pierce considered Astoria the “center of his universe” — he loved its people and its beauty, and enjoyed spending time at the nearby beaches digging clams or walking the Astoria Riverwalk with his dog, Judge. He had a vibrant community and seemed to know almost everyone in town.
After a stroke in 2016 that limited his physical activity, Pierce still loved to look at the Columbia River from his apartment window, go for drives around the area, and meet up with friends for meals. He worked hard at his recovery, doing speech and physical therapy exercises every day for the last two years.
Pierce was preceded in death by his parents, John and Margaret Christie; brother, Robert; sister-in-law, Denise; and nephews, Ted Williams and John David Christie. He is survived by his brother, Peter Christie; sisters, Catherine Sangüeza and Aretta Christie; daughters, Heather and Ruth Christie; son, Ponce Christie; stepsons, Jonnie Blue, Brendan and Isaac Dunne; granddaughter, Christina Balesky; former wives, Connie Kimble, Teresa Borseth and Wendy Clune; as well as extended family, many friends, and his beloved dog, Judge.
There will be a celebration of life at the Rogue Public House on Pier 39 on Saturday, Jan. 19, 2019, from 2 to 5 p.m.