After a long illness, Christie Johnson Lucero of Rio Rancho passed away on Dec. 16, 2021.
She was born in 1942 to Hollywood screenwriter Nunnally Johnson (“Grapes of Wrath,” “The Dirty Dozen,” “The Desert Fox” and numerous mid-20th century films) and the actress Dorris Bowdon, known primarily for her role in “Grapes of Wrath.”
She is survived by her beloved husband, Verne Lucero, a prominent Spanish colonial santero and tin artist; her stepdaughter, Debra L. Gonzales and her husband, Tom Gonzales; their children Chastity Gonzales, James Abeyta, Victoria Dawson, Thomas Gonzales and their children; stepsons, Verne Lucero Jr., Eric Lucero and Zachary Lucero and stepdaughters, Honorable Angela Gallegos and her husband Dennis, Leonara Jean Crow and husband William and four puppies.
She was preceded in death by her first husband, Ted Aspudd; their son, Alexis Aspudd; her parents; her half-sisters, novelist Nora Johnson and film editor Marjorie Fowler; and her grandson, Jonathon Abeyta.
Christie was an artist and activist living in London and Sweden in her early years, but later turned to film-editing in Los Angeles, specifically for television. In 1997, she came to New Mexico, where she met her second husband, Verne Lucero, and never looked back.
Despite her pedigree, Christie rarely divulged her Hollywood roots. Although sometimes jokingly describing herself as a “Hollywood princess,” for those who knew her best, she was a down-to-earth, determined woman with boundless energy, immense computer savvy and a dry, sometimes wicked sense of humor (she was a devoted fan of Edward Gorey).
She tirelessly ran an online antiquarian bookstore, Catron-Grant Books, which specialized in Asian literature, reflecting her knowledge of Asian culture and her earlier excursions to Tibet. She was a well-known face among New Mexican book sellers and antiquarian specialists nationwide.
Her passion was paleontology, and she could be found on Tuesday afternoons at the New Mexico Museum of Natural History, where she prepared fossils on a volunteer basis. She was also passionate in her love for New Mexico; her most-treasured role was stepmother, grandmother, great-grandmother and great-great grandmother to the children of her adopted family, whom she loved as deeply as her own.
Both friends and family will sorely miss her.
Memorial services will be held at Our Lady Queen of Angels LCC at 1701 Tulip Road SE, Rio Rancho, NM, on Feb. 12, 2022, at 10 a.m. For more information, call 505-896-1611.