Janice Lynette Christensen Anderson (Lynn), 1925-2024, died on January 25, 2024 at her home in Boise at the age of 98, with her daughter by her side, holding her hand. She is survived by her loving children Matthew (Marla) and Leslie (Tom). She is also survived by four beloved grandchildren – Alex (Didi), Hannah (Ben), Adam and Dan, and one great grandchild, Augie. She leaves sister-in-law Sally Christensen and her children – Scott, Ann, Kate, Cort and Sarah. She was predeceased by her parents and her brother Dr. Norman Christensen.
Lynn was born in Chico, California to Adda McKenzie Christensen and Nels August Christensen. Her father was a Methodist minister and, as Lynn was born on a Sunday, her father announced her birth in church and the choir sang “Praise God for Whom All Blessings Flow” to welcome the new baby.
Lynn moved with her family to several cities in California, mostly in the Central Valley, as her father’s work with the church required. The family enjoyed visiting the Sierra Nevada mountains, and she learned to fly fish from her father. After graduating from high school and attending junior college in Bakersfield, Lynn attended and graduated from the College of the Pacific in Stockton, California with a degree in speech therapy and a teaching credential. She had a 40-year teaching career in California – first in McFarland, Fresno and Cantua Creek, and later – for many years – in Walnut Creek and Concord. She was wonderful with children. She was known for her ability to teach children to read, and for making reading exciting to them.
Lynn married Joseph Anderson in 1952. They later divorced. Lynn and Joe had two children, Matthew and Leslie. Lynn was an adoring, supportive and very tolerant mother. During the summer she would often load up the kids and the dog and head for the Idaho mountains, where we would camp in tents for weeks at a time. It was glorious.
After retiring from teaching, Lynn moved to Boise, Idaho to be closer to her children and grandchildren who lived in Idaho and Montana.
Mom always enjoyed gardening and kept a garden well into her 90s. She often shared her garden produce and home-baked cookies with friends at Boise’s Senior Center. While playing bridge there, Lynn met Larue Lupher. They became partners and had many adventures together until Larue died in 2008.
A lover of words and books, Mom was a voracious and fast reader, often reading a book a day. Toward the end of her life she preferred to read mysteries and she said (at 95), that if she ever met author Michael Connelly she’d probably kiss him because he had such a fine vocabulary. She was a lifelong fan of crossword puzzles and a fine scrabble player. She made sure her children (both in school and at home) learned and used correct grammar.
Lynn had a series of beloved dogs and cats whose needs typically superseded her own. Clem, her orange kitty, is already missing her, but will be loved and cared for.
Our mother was intelligent and kind. The messages coming in from family since her death include: “she was a perfect grandmother”, “she was attentive and nurturing of her family, her garden, the birds”, “I could simply walk into the room and she would smile at me”, “there was a certainty to your Mom’s love”, “without ego or unasked-for advice Lynette provided support and encouragement”, “I can hear her abandoned laughter now”, and “she lived long and well and kindly.” That is the sentiment that comes from all quarters, that she was kind.
She loved playing the piano. She loved the song “Danny Boy”. She loved the natural world. She loved the grandeur of the mountains, and the grace of towering redwoods, but she also had a great love of subtle beauty – of a single snowflake or the year’s first crocus. A call of “Quick, come see this!”, meant that she wanted us to see the sunlight shining through the trees or snow piled like popcorn in the branches.
Our mother requested that we have no services for her. Instead, if you wish to honor her, please take the time to read to a child, or to share with a child a walk in the garden or the simple beauty of a single snowflake.
Our family wishes to thank Mom’s caregiver, Lisamarie Sumares, for the loving and skilled care she provided to our mother in her final months. We also wish to thank St. Luke’s Hospice for their kind care and support.