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Lynn Christopherson

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A light in my life has gone out. My mom, Lynn Rae Christoperson breathed her last at 1:55am on December 3, 2022. She was my first example of strength in adversity, of beauty, of faith. She has been my greatest supporter, my ally, and a great mother.

Though I understand I didn’t know her for her entire life, I have heard many stories of her childhood. She was born in St. Paul, Minnesota in August of 1958 to Janet and David Christoperson. She was my grandparent’s first child, though she was followed nine minutes later by my Aunt Sue, her identical twin. She has four sisters, Susan, Betsy, Cyndi, and Amee. When she was 9 years old the family moved to Jamestown, ND. She attended Jamestown High School, where she was a Soprano in the choir, and graduated in 1976. Mom’s love of Barry Manilow and ABBA started somewhere around this time, and has endured to this very moment. I’m certain she is adjusting the playlist in heaven as we speak.

Love of music is one of the greatest gifts she passed on to me. At St Paul Bible College she was part of a traveling singing group, and when she transferred to Jamestown College in 1977 she immediately joined the choir. She was in choirs her whole life, until just last year when she was part of the Jamestown Community Choir. As we sat in the pews at First Baptist Church in Jamestown she would show me how to read the music and to sing harmony. So much of my childhood was spent watching her rehearse in the church choir. We would crank the volume on the car stereo and sing along, pour over album art in her vinyl collection, and we would play favorite songs over and over on her fancy stereo.

Mom was generous to a fault, faithful, fiercely loyal, and always trying to improve her situation. When I was a Freshman at JHS, mom decided to go back to College. Not everyone was supportive of her decision, and though she knew it would be challenging to go back to school in her 30s, she pursued her Bachelor’s Degree, double majoring in Business and Vocal Performance. Though the completion of her degree was not a traditional path, she finally achieved her goal in 2010.

Being a single mom in the 1980s and 90s wasn’t easy, and she sacrificed a lot for our tiny family. She worked full time and took care of the household, and was resourceful so I could have piano lessons, and could play the viola. If I had a dream, she didn’t give up on it even if we couldn’t do it the traditional way. In the 4th grade the Orchestra teacher came to class and did a demonstration, and I decided in 5th grade I wanted to play the viola. We couldn’t afford the instrument rental, so mom got resourceful. My Grandmother Burgess had a beautiful old family violin, and mom found out how to restring it like a viola so I would have an instrument to play.

Mom was a dreamer and taught me to dream big. She started a lot of projects, and took up a lot of new hobbies. So many of these projects have been left unfinished.

Mom was bold. Sometimes. She was generally a cautious person, but one of the things I found most inspiring about her is that she would sometimes dare to dream big and would go after a goal. In 2013 before she was diagnosed with cancer, out of the blue she told me she wanted to run the Disney Princess Half Marathon with me. She had walked the Susan G Komen Breast Cancer Walk twice, so she wasn’t afraid of the distance. We trained together (calling each other on the phone while we ran on the treadmill or outside), talked about challenges, and motivated each other to keep going. Even bolder, in 2018 while she was in remission, she told me she wanted to do a Beauty Pageant. She wanted to do one as a kid and never got to. It’s never too late. We competed together, and prepared together. We talked about silly things like gowns, crowns, and shoes, and not-so-silly things like fear of failing, controversial opinions, and the risks of being fully authentic. This is one of the experiences in my adult life that has brought us closer together.

Over the past couple weeks, I’ve had an opportunity to talk to so many of mom’s friends and colleagues. People have said so many things they love about her. Her generosity, her soft-spoken ways, her kindness, her fierce love of her family, and her joy in faith have been the most popular descriptors.

She is survived by me and my husband, Ryan and Amber (Burgess) Schisler, her parents, David and Janet (Argetsinger) Christopherson, four sisters, Susan (Christopherson) Ely (her twin), Betsy (Christopherson) Davis, Cyndi Christopherson, and Amee (Christopherson) Johnson, and numerous nieces and nephews. She is already missed, but what a reassurance it will be to each of us when our time comes that she’ll be waiting for us on the other side.

Family will be receiving friends from 3:00 PM to 7:00 PM on Thursday, December 8, 2022 at Eddy Funeral Home. Funeral service will be 1:00 PM, Friday, December 9 at Temple Baptist Church, Jamestown, North Dakota with Pastor McLean Jones officiating. Interment will be at Highland Home Cemetery in the spring.

Eddy Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.

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