The News Courier in Athens, Alabama


February 27, 2014

Wiley Christopher

— Wiley Nicholas Christopher, known to his friends and family as Nick, passed away Wednesday, Feb. 26, 2014, of natural causes.

He was born April 7, 1920, to J.E. and Mary Christopher of Athens and was preceded in death by his wife, Helen; his sister, Francis Kennemer; and his brothers, Cecil, Carlos and Harold Christopher.

Nick entered the Army at the outbreak of World War II. After crossing North Africa, he served as an officer in the 106th Anti-Aircraft Battalion attached to the 45th Infantry Division.  He participated in the Italian campaign to include the landing at Anzio beach and the subsequent fighting up to the capture of Rome. 

His unit progressed through France and was in Germany by war’s end, participating in the liberation of the concentration camp at Dachau outside of Munich.  His contributions during the fighting in Italy and France earned him the Bronze Star and two Purple Hearts.

After returning from the war, he met his wife, Helen while attending school in Nashville, Tenn.  They were married in Nashville in 1948. Eventually they moved to Huntsville, where Nick began his 30-year employment with Nike Hercules, Sentinel Command, and the Ballistic Missile Defense Systems Command. 

In addition to being initiated into the Madison County Hall of Heroes, he enjoyed the honor of being on the first Huntsville Honor Flight program, which escorted World War II veterans to Washington D.C. 

He was a faithful member of Whitesburg Baptist Church, and served as chairman of deacons and as chairman of the Finance Committee for several years and always felt privileged to be included in church activities. He enjoyed his favorite game of golf, his grandchildren, his great-grandson, as well as staying active in the church during his retirement.

Survivors include his son, U.S. Navy Capt. Steve Christopher and wife Beth of Camp Lejeune, N.C.; daughter, Lisa McMullen and husband Butch of Cartersville, Ga.; brothers, James Allen Christopher and wife Helen and Norris Christopher and wife Barbara, all of Athens; sister, Martha Jane Benfante and husband Tony of Niagara Falls, N.Y.; sisters-in-law, Mrs. Aileen Christopher and husband T. Cecil of Athens, Mrs. Nita Christopher and husband Harold of Cullman; grandchildren, Will McMullen of Macon, Ga., Ben McMullen of Cartersville, Ga., Laura Taylor and husband Joey; great-grandson Noah Taylor of Cartersville, Ga.; and many fond nieces and nephews.

Visitation will be 4-6 p.m. Saturday, March 1, at Spry Funeral Home in Huntsville. The memorial service is at 2 p.m. Sunday, March 2, at the South Campus Chapel of Whitesburg Baptist Church.  Following the service, burial will be at Maple Hill Cemetery. 

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Gideon’s International or to Whitesburg Baptist Church.

Text Only


Which foreign crisis is the biggest threat to the security of the United States?

None of the above
     View Results
AP Video
Kerry: Humanitarian Cease-fire Efforts Continue Raw: Corruption Trial Begins for Former Va Gov. The Carbon Trap: US Exports Global Warming UN Security Council Calls for Gaza Cease-fire Traditional African Dishes Teach Healthy Eating 13 Struck by Lightning on Calif. Beach Baseball Hall of Famers Inducted Israel, Hamas Trade Fire Despite Truce in Gaza Italy's Nibali Set to Win First Tour De France Raw: Shipwrecked Concordia Completes Last Voyage Raw: Sea Turtle Hatchlings Emerge From Nest Raw: Massive Dust Storm Covers Phoenix 12-hour Cease-fire in Gaza Fighting Begins Raw: Bolivian Dancers Attempt to Break Record Raw: Israel, Palestine Supporters Rally in US Raw: Air Algerie Flight 5017 Wreckage Virginia Governor Tours Tornado Aftermath Judge Faces Heat Over Offer to Help Migrant Kids Kangaroo Goes Missing in Oklahoma More M17 Bodies Return, Sanctions on Russia Grow
Twitter Updates
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.
Business Marquee