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Joanne Stringham Christensen
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Joanne Stringham Christensen

Jun 5, 1931 Jun 12, 2024

Joanne Stringham Christensen, beloved wife, mother, grandmother and great-grandmother, passed away unassumingly on the morning of June 12, 2024, just a few days after celebrating her 93rd birthday and only hours after being surrounded by all of her children and many other family members. She was born on June 5, 1931, to L. Lyal and Jennie Warren Stringham, in the then-small farming and railroad town of Pasco, Washington. She was blessed with conscientious, patriotic, and hard-working parents, busy managing the affairs of the only local bank and serving fellow church members, neighbors and transient migrant workers who frequented their back door looking for a little food and maybe a side job. Watching her mother feed those unplanned guests, without hesitation or judgment, would help shape her own selfless and spontaneous service throughout her life.

A successful high school graduate and gifted violinist, she left home to attend BYU where she was actively involved in various student organizations, was a member of Phi Kappa Phi, played the violin in the BYU symphony orchestra, and found time to be a Cougarette. She graduated in 1953, with honors, with a B.A. in Elementary Education, having successfully found (in her words) “fellowship, work, fun, faith, beauty and love.” The “love” she spoke of referred mostly to a local Provo boy, Harold Christensen, a star athlete at BYU and her future loving husband of 58 years. They were married in the Salt Lake LDS temple in 1953, and together they created a loving, energetic, and sports-centered home for their seven children.

After graduating from BYU, they took their new family on the road to Oklahoma and California where Harold served as an officer in the U.S. Air Force, and where their first two children were born. After returning to Salt Lake City, where Harold began his long career as a structural engineer, Joanne no less skillfully devoted her time to a growing family of demonstrably imperfect children and refined the noble career and art of homemaking. Yes, she adeptly cooked and canned, hemmed pants and skirts, and even sewed prom and wedding dresses. But all of that was merely incidental to her larger purpose. Far more fundamental to her was to effectively teach and guide each of her seven children, stressing the importance of a good education and helping instill in them a living faith in God, all the while preparing them for the demands of life. Fulfilling such ambition required her continual sacrifice, but she was abundantly blessed with the needed gifts to do the job. Along the way she became known, admired, and loved as an intelligent, honest, and careful listener, conversationalist, and counselor, whenever and wherever needed. In other words, her life was never about her.

A believing member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, she served in many callings and capacities, including in various ward and stake organizations, as a Church headquarters’ hosting director and a worker in the Salt Lake temple. From 1981 to 1984, she and Harold also served as mission leaders in the California Fresno Mission, where her dedicated and loving ministry began and continues to bless the lives of many former missionaries and by extension now their families.

Joanne was preceded in death by her husband, Harold, her parents and her two sisters, Anne and Janet, and is survived by her seven children: Lesli (Kevin) Haslam, Craig (Shawna), Kim (Joel) Nance, Cindy (Steve) Harline, Kyle (Alyse), Kurt (Heather), Todd (Lyndsay), and 28 grandchildren and 37 great-grandchildren.

The family expresses their deep appreciation for the medical professionals and other care-givers who attended to her.

Funeral services will be held on Thursday, June 20, 2024, at 11:00 a.m. at the LDS meetinghouse at 7337 S. Regal Hill Drive, West Jordan, Utah. Viewings will be held Wednesday night from 6 to 8 p.m. and Thursday morning from 9:30 to 10:45 a.m. at the same location. Tributes and memories for the family may be left at www.larkinmortuary.com

Services

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Larkin Mortuary

260 E South Temple

Salt Lake City, UT 84111

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Post Date
Jun 20, 2024
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