Christine Marie Skuzeski Avila 1952 - 2022

With family by her side, Christine Marie Skuzeski Avila passed away May 25, 2022, due to natural causes. She was 69 years old.

Christine, known to most as Christy, was born July 22, 1952, in McMinnville, Oregon, and was raised in Yamhill. She attended St. James Elementary School and graduated from Yamhill-Carlton High School in 1970. At Y-C, Christy participated in “powder-puff” football and basketball, teaming with her cousin, Elizabeth Laughlin. She was a member of the National Honor Society, was active in school plays (appearing as Dr. Einstein in "Arsenic and Old Lace") and was a varsity cheerleader her senior year. Christy continued her education at Oregon State University, where she received a Bachelor of Arts in Recreation and formed life-long friendships. She paved the way in school for her younger brothers. She was always in charge. At the age of 10, she was in complete control as trees toppled down and debris flew around the family home during the 1962 Columbus Day Storm while parents made their way home from work late at night.

Christy loved horses. As a youngster, she, her brothers, and cousins spent many days on ponies exploring Grandfather Sport Laughlin’s Century Farm outside Yamhill. Christy won many blue ribbons in a variety of timed events at local “playdays” on Prince, a fast sorrel pony. In time, Christy began a life-long relationship with Quarter Horses, becoming a top youth performer in Oregon Quarter Horse Association shows riding Sparkler’s Lady. Christy also helped show other top Quarter Horses that originated on the Laughlin ranch.

Christy built a successful horse training business in Yamhill with her husband, Bob Avila. Son B.J. grew up on the Laughlin Ranch with a new generation of cousins, Jon and Michael Phillips. In breaks from racing 4-wheelers on the farm, B.J. became an accomplished horseman under the tutelage of his parents and apprentices brought in by Avila Stables. Christy moved on to Scottsdale, Arizona, where she acquired skills in graphic design and entered a new facet of her career, creating ads for equestrian magazines and websites. She returned to Yamhill to help care for her parents in 2016 and started painting and decorating signs, wheelbarrows, trunks and other items to give as gifts. Christy also made jewelry, which she offered for sale at local craft fairs. Her creative talents were impressive. Christy’s plan for the future was to join her son, B.J. Avila, in Texas to help with his horses and ranch.

Survivors include son, Robert J. Avila; mother, Dorothy (Laughlin) Skuzeski; brother, James M. Skuzeski (Caroline Ludlow); brother, Timothy R. Skuzeski (Susan Harmon); nephew, Walter A. Skuzeski; niece, Carrie M. Skuzeski; niece, Jessica Skuzeski Lawson (Kevin); niece, Allie Skuzeski Mullin (Jeff); great-nieces, Christen and Emily Lawson; and Sophie (Border Collie). Christy was preceded in passing by her father, Walter J. Skuzeski.

Mass and celebration of life will be held at 10 a.m. Saturday, July 23, at St. John Catholic Church in Yamhill. Contributions in Christy's memory may be made to the C.F. Laughlin Scholarship Fund at Yamhill-Carlton High School. To leave condolences, please visit


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