Aretha Hope Christensen, 96, of Springfield, formerly of Effingham, IL, passed away on Saturday, June 30, 2018.
Visitation will be held from 10:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. Thursday, July 5, 2018, at Johnson Funeral Home, 1110 N. Fourth Street, Effingham, IL. Funeral services will follow at 11:00 a.m. Thursday at Johnson Funeral Home with Dr. Roger Marshall presiding. Interment will follow in Oak Ridge Cemetery in Effingham.
In lieu of flowers, memorials can be made to Effingham First Baptist Church or Shriners Hospitals for Children. Online condolences may be shared at www.johnsonandsonsfh.com.
Hope was born in Clay County, IL, on August 23, 1921, the daughter of Herbert and Lesta (Lewis) Gharst. She was united in marriage to James Christensen on March 17, 1942, in Flora, IL. He preceded her in death on November 23, 2006.
Hope was a graduate of Louisville High School and Eastern Illinois University. She taught elementary school in the Effingham school district and rural Illinois for over 30 years. She was named Effingham Educator of the Year in 1974. She was a member of First Baptist Church for over 50 years where she taught Sunday school for many of those years. She was previously a member of the Retired Teachers Association and Delta Kappa Gamma Educator’s Organization.
She leaves her children, David (wife, Linda) Christensen and Susan Christensen both of Springfield, IL; grandchildren, Kari (Brendan) Murphy of Leesburg, VA and Erin (Sam) Clayton of Morton, IL; great-grandchildren, William J. Murphy and Daniel P. Murphy both of Leesburg, VA and Coraline J. Clayton and Stella L. Clayton both of Morton, IL; and many nieces and nephews.
She was preceded in death by her parents; husband, James; brothers, Lewis and Marlin; sister, Peggy Decker; and grandson, James “Jay” Christensen.