Louise White Christmas, age 84, passed away peacefully at home on the horse farm she loved in Monkton, MD on June 8, 2019. She was born June 26, 1934 in Baltimore, MD to Taylor and Wilhelmina White. She attended Calvert School and then Garrison Forest School.
As a teenager, Louise was an award winning show rider who worked galloping racehorses at local tracks. She met the love of her life William "Billy" Christmas at age 18 while galloping horses at Pimlico Race Course. Through their 66 years of marriage, they showed their children and grandchildren what it means to be a devoted partner.
Louise's father-in-law adoringly nicknamed her "Sunshine", and she is remembered by her loved ones for smiling like she was greeting the world. Her smile communicated her optimism and joie de vivre and lit up any room she entered. She knew what mattered to her in life and was unapologetically herself. When her father-in-law gave her the choice between dining room furniture or a horse, she chose "Bogie Man", who went on to win twenty races.
A hardworking mother and wife, she raised four sons while managing a busy horse breeding farm and training thoroughbred racehorses with her husband Billy. Her patience, spunk, and connectedness with animals made her a natural at breaking yearlings. She also helped her mother run Drop Stitch Studio, a fashionable women's shop in Baltimore. In the 1980's and early 1990's, she and Billy ran Maryland Sales Agency, a thoroughbred auction company. Louise enjoyed needlepointing and knitting, and her children and grandchildren will think of her every December when they hang the Christmas stockings she lovingly knitted.
She had a knack for making anyone feel comfortable when they came to her home, which was decorated with tigers to celebrate her champion racehorse "Terrible Tiger." She was a humble chef who most often cooked baked chicken, stews, spaghetti, and her special salad for family and friends. She kept her home tidy but more importantly made sure it was well lived in by whoever came through the door. Her wood stove was always burning in winter months, and there was never a shortage of peppermints for the children and horses. She loved growing tomatoes in the summertime and offering them to her guests. She was always kind and generous with the employees who worked and lived on the farm with their families, and her refrigerator was covered in pictures of their children as well as her own grandchildren who lived on or frequented the farm.
Louise made sure her daughters-in-law and granddaughters knew what it meant to be a strong, independent woman. She got up when it was still dark out, bundled up when it was well below freezing, and took on whatever job needed to be done in the barn. She spoke her mind and encouraged them to do the same. She never frowned on them getting dirty as long as they had fun.
She was a lover of all animals. Through the years, she shared her home with many beloved dogs, a talking bird, three baby raccoons ("Larry", “Moe”, and "Curly"), a skunk, and a cockatiel who inexplicably showed up in the barn. On the farm, she cared for racehorses, donkeys, foxes, cats, a goat who greeted visitors by hopping on the hoods of their cars, and an injured buzzard who she named Harry and nursed back to health with hearty meals of kitchen scraps.
Louise was preceded in death by her brother John and son Chris. She is survived by her husband Billy; her brother and sister-in-law Taylor and Betty; her sons and daughters-in-law JT and Brenda, Whitney and Jennifer, and Biff and Melanie; her grandchildren Jessica, Kelly, Whitney, Tori, Taylor, and Lexi; and five great grandchildren. She took so much pride in her family and will continue to delight in their accomplishments as she watches from Above.
Memorial contributions may be made to Maryland Horse Rescue and Days End Farm Horse Rescue. Louise's family gives special thanks to Mary Beth, Sandy, and Lisa at Absolute Companion Caregivers for their excellent service over the past 18 months.
Family and friends will honor and celebrate Louise life at her residence-2333 Monkton Road-Monkton on Wednesday, June 12 from 4-6 PM. A graveside service will be held 11:30 AM Thursday, June 13 at St. James Church Cemetery-Monkton.