Cover photo for Joan Christensen's Obituary
Joan Christensen Profile Photo
1929 Joan Christensen 2024

Joan Christensen

April 17, 1929 — April 12, 2024

McPherson, KS

Joan Lafferty Mabes Christensen, 94, of McPherson, KS and formerly of Canton, KS, peacefully passed away surrounded by family at her and her grandson Shane’s home on Friday, April 12, 2024.


She was born April 17, 1929, in Little River, KS to Ernest Harvey and Viola Melvina (Coe) Lafferty. They lived on a farm two miles east of Windom. Joan had six brothers, Harold, Earl, Melvin, LeRoy, Herbert and Gene. She had two sisters, Aldena and Gladys. Gladys died in infancy. 


Joan married Ronald Mabes on May 15, 1949, at the Methodist Church in Windom, KS. To this union four daughters were born, Jacque, Renee, Rhonda, and Michelle, and a son, Randy Lee. Randy passed away at age 4 1/2. Joan and Ronald divorced in 1972 and Joan, her daughters, and granddaughter, Kari, moved from New York to Canton, KS. 


She worked for Farmers Alliance Insurance Company for 20 years and retired in 1994. Joan married Marlin Christensen of Galva in 1984. To that union she gained Marlin’s three sons, Brian, Joel and Royce. 


Joan was a member of the Canton Community Church, United Methodist Women, and Naomi Circle. She was also a member of the McPherson Historical Society, Canton Literacy Study Club, serving as secretary for six years, and served as a chairman of the Canton library board. 


Surviving her are daughters, Jacque Rinker (Ronn), McPherson, Rhonda Hamby ( Chuck), Canton, and Michelle Unruh (Brantley), Galva; three step-sons, Brian Christensen, Clearwater, Joel Christensen (Chris), Fort Calhoun, NE, and Royce Christensen, Olathe. Grandchildren include Kari Rinker (Anthony Singer), Chad Rinker, Shane Smith, Kelcie Sanchez (Domingo), Kristopher Klatt, Jason Klatt (Nikki), Amy Lohmolder (Caleb), Kurtis Unruh, Joseph Unruh (Jessica), and Lindsey Dellinger (Daniel), Calista Christensen, Kiley Arnold, Brock Christensen, Kayla Christensen, Kyle Christensen, Mary Irey Christensen and Elizabeth Annie Christensen. Great-grandchildren include Sky Mangers, Abby and Ava Singer, Dawson and Sawyer Sanchez, Theo Lohmolder, Laurelle Unruh, Izzy Sinnett, Chloe and Hailey Arnold, Emily Rose Christensen, Lyla Christensen and Maisyn Rene Christensen. 


Deceased are Joan’s parents, Ernest and Viola Lafferty; her six brothers and two sisters; son Randy; daughter Renee and son-in-law Steven Smith; along with her husband Marlin. 

Joan wrote that she wanted to be remembered for being kind, thoughtful and loving, but she will be remembered for far more than that…for growing up in a depression, raising rabbits which she herself refused to eat, for her love of her sisters and brothers, especially LeRoy, who was more like a father to her, for frequently moving her new little family around to the next town for work purposes, for her daring move across the country with a station wagon full of girls and two dogs to settle in and raise them in a remote little town before single parenting was common, for being selfless and taking care of everyone else’s needs and wishes first. She will also be remembered for her strength and endurance through great losses, illnesses and pain and very little need to complain through the processes, for her love of traveling with Marlin to whatever back road destination and restaurant he had found to visit, to the annual Christmas Eve celebrations where she thoroughly enjoyed herself with all the grands-playing games, including Farkle, and making her enchiladas for the frequent Mexican cuisine. 


Joan loved reading love stories, especially Nicholas Sparks novels. She loved snuggling with each and every new baby that came along, including most recently, holding new twin great-grandsons, and was looking forward to two more coming soon. Joan loved her birthdays and let us know that we needed to help her celebrate each and every one. This year, instead, we celebrate her new birth into her eternal home. Praise Jesus for that, as we can look forward to being reunited again when it’s our time to take that next journey if we accept the Lord as our Savior, as she did. 


Joan was an example of a life well lived and certainly well loved. She will be missed, but she will be cherished as a true lady in our minds and our hearts forever.


A memorial service will be held at 2:00 PM, Thursday, April 18, 2024, at the Canton Community Church with Pastor Mike Miller officiating.   The final resting place will be at the Empire Cemetery, Galva.  


Memorial donations can be made to the Canton Community Church or Canton Township Carnegie Library in care of Stockham Family Funeral Home, 205 North Chestnut, McPherson, KS 67460.

To send flowers to the family in memory of Joan Christensen, please visit our flower store.
Memorial Folder

Service Schedule

Past Services

Memorial Service

Thursday, April 18, 2024

Starts at 2:00 pm (Central time)

The Canton Community Church

304 Allen St, Canton, KS 67428

Get Directions

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.


Visits: 1396

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the
Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

Service map data © OpenStreetMap contributors

Send Flowers

Send Flowers

Send a Gift

Send a Gift