Obituary of Errol Clark Christman
Errol Clark Christman passed away July 25, 2015. He was 74.
He was born Dec. 4, 1940 in Grass Valley at W.C Jones Memorial Hospital. He was raised in the Boston Ravine area, near what is currently the North Star Mining Museum.
As a young man, he wandered the neighborhood working odd jobs, one of which was cutting firewood. One day, Errol offered to cut firewood for a man in the neighborhood. As it turned out, this same man would become an instrumental mentor in Errol’s life; his name was Ray Weir.
Ray bestowed his vast mining knowledge to Errol, and Errol put it to great use in his own mining career. Errol was a third generation miner following in the footsteps of his father and grandfather, but largely inspired by Ray.
He worked in the Browns Valley Mine, Empire Mine, and the famed, Sixteen to One Mine. Mining was his first passion, but his family and Ford and Chevy trucks were tied for second. Additionally, he had a brief stint working as a mechanic for Hockett Auto Sales.
In 1959, Errol met his wife Meredith Hyatt. In the later stage of his life, Errol affectionately referred to Meredith as a “wonderful woman.” They where introduced through friends, and married in September 1959.
French Avenue welcomed Errol and Meredith in 1960. Errol, in his true rebellious manner, held demolition derby’s in the back yard of the French Avenue residence.
In 1965, Errol and family moved to Cedar Ridge. He operated several auto wrecking yards until the mid-1970s.
In 1972, he leased the Brush Creek Mine, where in 1973, Errol and a co-worker were trapped, underground, for 52 hours. The two trapped miners were ultimately rescued by his longtime friend Al Wasley.
The Sunflower Mine and Sunflower Mining Equipment and Repair were owned and managed by Errol from the mid-1970s to early-1980s.
His next endeavor was to lease the Plumbago Mine in Sierra County. After rehabbing and dewatering the Plumbago Mine, it became a successful and prosperous operation.
This achievement led him to lease a second property, The German Bar Mine, in Nevada County, which thrived from 1984-1988.
A third hobby and passion of his was buying and selling mining antiques. Errol’s favorite mining collectibles were candlesticks, and carbide and oil lamps. He soon attained the self-anointed title of “Lamp King.” In his days before passing, Errol enjoyed taking in an old westerns, eating lemon popsicles, and teasing his cats.
He is survived by sisters, Kathy Simmons and Eveline Archibald; sons, Aaron Christman and E. Kirk Christman; daughter Amber Christman; and grandson C.J. Christman.
Errol is predeceased by Meredith Hyatt Christman, daughter Carrie Joy Christman and parents Carl and Eveline Christman.
A celebration of life is scheduled from 1 to 5 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 29, 2015, at the Nevada City Elks Lodge, Highway 49 North, Nevada City.
Arrangements are under the direction of Hooper and Weaver Mortuary in Nevada City.
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