John Steven Christie - Morgan County Herald: Obituaries

John Steven Christie

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Posted: Tuesday, October 8, 2019 12:58 pm

John Steven Christie, 69, died suddenly at his Upper Arlington home on Saturday, Oct. 5, 2019.

John was preceeded in death by his wife, Linda Margaret Christie; and his parents, Robert Samuel and Sara Jane Kennard Christie of McConnelsville Ohio.

Growing up in McConnelsville stayed with John as he never forgot his roots. John would repeatedly tell his friends the story about growing up in an early 1800s stage coach inn on Main St., and being able to identify every make and model of car just by looking at the tail lights as they drove through town. He was a Boy Scout, a halfback/defensive back of his high school football team, and four-year letterman in four sports. He was also one of the first inductees to the Morgan High School’s Hall of Fame. John was a tireless civic, community and business leader.

After becoming a member and vice president of the Delta Tau Delta fraternity at Miami University and graduating with a bachelor degree in Business Administration, he went on to Emory University to pursue his Masters in business. He and Linda were married in McConnelsville, and considered living in Atlanta an adventure.

Banking brought them back to Ohio, first in Cincinnati and then to Columbus. Soon, John was tapped to become the President of the Columbus Area Chamber of Commerce at age 32 because of his ideas and passion for the city. He would be a strong advocate for businesses during that time and made many trips to Japan to help build the auto supply network in the region. He worked hard to connect the public and private sectors to help advance the city. John then became the Senior Vice President of Corporate Development at Battelle Memorial Institute where he worked to help that organization expand their business model beyond government contracts to include commercial strategic and product development solutions.

After becoming President of JMAC, the personal holding company for the McConnell family, he worked with the McConnells and the community to secure the NHL franchise, Columbus Blue Jackets. John became President and Chief Operating Officer of Worthington Industries in 2000 before retiring in 2008 to take care of Linda, who suffered from a debilitating illness until her death a year ago.

John loved and adored his family, especially as a doting grandfather while suggesting his grandchildren call him JC.

He is survived by his three children and their families all in Columbus, Robert Morgan (Erica) Christie, Lindsey Taylor (Tyler) Burt, Sara Jo (Norm) Harbison; grandchildren, Carsen Jane and Joshua Cole Christie; Hazel Jo, John Harpham and Molly Margaret Burt; and Austin James Harbison. John is also survived by his brother, Robert James (Chris) Christie and his wife, Marcia Emens Christie of McConnelsville; his sister, Mary Christie McIntyre, her husband, John F. McIntyre; nieces and nephews; and Linda’s mother, Sara Prater.

John’s civic contributions are numerous as he served on the boards of I Know I Can, Franklin University, Ohio Public Works Commission, Battelle Pension Management and Investment Council, and as a founding member and longest serving chair of the Franklin County Convention Facilities Authority. He was a board member of the Crane Group, Fishel Company, Citizens National Bank, Arlington Bank, The Lakes Golf and Country Club, Geosafe Corp., Information Dimensions, and his most cherished, being a member and President of Miami University’s Board of Trustees. John also was a member of Upper Arlington Rotary Club, founding member of the daily fees club, and founding member of the MNF (Monday Night Football) club.

John’s incredible spirit, smile and laugh will be missed by all who knew him. He never met a stranger and was always willing to help anyone looking for advice or help. John enjoyed helping those starting out in their career to find their way, and he liked being able to connect people. All of his golfing buddies will miss having him in their foursome as he made every round a great round.

Family will receive friends to celebrate John’s life at SCHOEDINGER NORTHWEST CHAPEL, 1740 Zollinger Rd. from 1 to 5 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 19.

In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to Columbus Blue Jackets Foundation, 200 W. Nationwide Blvd. Columbus, OH 43215. or to The Upper Arlington Education Foundation, 1950 North Mallway Drive, Columbus, OH 43221.

To share a special memory of John or to sign his online guestbook, please visit

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