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Dr. Christine H. Smith




Family and friends of Dr. Christine H. Smith, Professor Emerita, California State University, Northridge, mourn her passing on December 20, 2013 as the result of a tragic accident that had occurred several days prior.

Dr. Smith was born to Herbert W. and Nellie M. Hamilton, the third of three children, on November 5, 1938, in Midwest, Wyoming.  After a childhood rich in music and love of animals, Christine made her way to Southern California where she enrolled in San Fernando Valley State College (SFVSC, now California State University, Northridge) majoring in Home Economics.  Her job sewing costumes in the Drama Department at SFVSC changed her life forever as that is where Christine met the love of her life, Owen Smith, whom she married in 1967.

Chris’s educational career includes a BS degree in Home Economics from SFVSC, an MS degree in Nutritional Sciences from the University of California, Los Angeles   and a PhD in Pharmacology and Nutrition from University of Southern California, School of Medicine. She became a Registered Dietitian in 1978 and later (1995) a Certified Nutrition Specialist.

Over the course of her career, Dr. Smith was presented with numerous awards but because of her devotion to students, the Distinguished Professor Award was her most cherished.  Chris was not only the co-advisor of Family & Consumer Science’s (FCS) Student Dietetic and Food Science Association for 21 years, but also as the Director of the Didactic Program in Dietetics (DPD), she guided students through the coursework that academically prepared them to become Registered Dietitians.  Even after her 2001 retirement, she remained an active member of FCS’s DPD/DI (Dietetic Internship) Advisory Board.
Active, as well, in the area of Food Technology,  Dr. Smith was a well-received speaker at an IFT (Institute of Food Technologists) Annual Meeting and served its Annual Meeting Session Committee several times. Chairing the Southern California IFT Section’s Scholarship Committee (more than once) was also professionally fulfilling.  Such dedication was honored in 2005 when she became recipient of the SCIFTS Distinguished Achievement Award.

Dr. Smith’s research focus led her to becoming co-editor of a popular reference work: Food-Medication Interactions first published in 1978. She remained an active contributor to its biennial revisions for nearly 30 years.

Retirement years were busy for Christine: volunteering as a dedicated tutor in the Los Angeles Public Library Adult Literacy Program; joining several “Chicken Ladies,” who faithfully cared for the chickens in a project at a nearby elementary school; travelling with her husband to many magnificent places: India, China, Papua New Guinea, Australia, Fiji, Antarctica, all over Europe, and more.  But those quiet moments that she and her husband had at home were always shared with a beloved member of the feline family.  Hers was a wonderful and full life.

Christine is survived by her oldest brother and sister-in-law, Robert B. and Joyce K. Hamilton, nieces, nephews, and cousins.  On February 9, 2014 at 2:30 p.m., a Celebration of Christine’s Life will take place on the campus of California State University, Northridge, Sequoia Hall, Nobbs Auditorium (room 104).

In lieu of flowers, donations can be made payable to CSUN Foundation (memo: Christine and Owen Smith Memorial Fund); mail to Marilyn Magaram Center; CSU, Northridge; Northridge, CA 91330-8308.  This fund will be used to support activities/projects involving students.