Nancy Jo Christensen, age 79, of Mt. Juliet, Tennessee, passed away suddenly at her home on Saturday, October 14, 2023.
Nancy was born in Savanna, IL and was the daughter of the late, Herschel and Joanna Cunningham Hopkins.
While dining in the cafeteria while in college, Nancy spied a handsome young man (that’s for you, Mom), who caught her attention. Catching his eye, she boldly winked, not knowing that after a three year courtship, she would marry Howard Christensen on August 20, 1966. The two explorers moved across the country and world, even living in Tokyo, Japan, where with her outgoing personality, she befriended a local Japanese neighbor, who helped her perfect the delicacy, ebi tempura.
Howard and Nancy loved to travel, exploring new places and meeting new people. Nancy was as comfortable cooking a gourmet meal, as she was baiting a hook in the wilderness of Ontario, Canada. After 15 years of just the two of them, the couple was blessed with the birth of their daughter, Jennifer Jo. Nancy and Jen loved to exchange books, eat ice cream by the water, go shopping and always loved a road trip together.
She was the best listener and gave the perfect advice. Nancy was an avid supporter of her daughter. She never missed a play performance, band concert, 3on3 basketball tournament, ball game or anything else in Jen’s life. In January of 2004, Nancy proudly offered Jen her wedding veil in her marriage to Jason Law. Nancy loved Jason deeply and was often aligned with him in a family board or card game. She felt he completed the family.
In 2012, she received the best promotion to Grandma, with the birth of her granddaughters, Parker and Peyton in 2014. Now the family was complete. She loved her family fiercely. She was an extremely proud Grandma and took great pleasure in cooking with her granddaughters, working on school projects, snuggling on the couch watching Hallmark movies, and making memories as often as possible in Hilton Head, South Carolina.
She was a voracious reader and could often be found in her recliner with a good book. Nancy was a lifelong member of First United Methodist Church in Mt. Carroll, IL where she served as a Sunday School Teacher and later, Sunday School Superintendent. Nancy was an educator for many years and during that time was voted Teacher of the Year on two separate occasions. She had several yearbooks dedicated in her honor. She also served as successful primary negotiator on behalf of the teachers at Genoa-Kingston School District.
Upon retiring from education, Nancy owned and operated a successful business for 20 years in Mt. Carroll, IL. In addition to her business management responsibilities, Nancy was also very involved in local community organizations. She was a Girl Scout Leader, participated in 4-H, and was actively involved in the Chamber of Commerce.
She loved working with teenagers. In the process of that, mentored many young people and was considered a light in the life of many young adults. As many know, Nancy’s greeting card was her smile and warm Hello. She will be forever missed.
Nancy was also preceded in death by her nephew, Tony Hopkins.
She is survived by:
Husband of 57 years – Howard Christensen
Daughter – Jennifer (Jason) Law
Granddaughters – Parker and Peyton Law
Siblings – J. Tom (Loxi) Hopkins, Richard Hopkins and Elizabeth Ann Burke
Brothers-in-law – Charles Christensen and Ronn (Melissa) Christensen
Sisters-in-law – Janet (Dave) Duggar and Julia (Kevin) Lewis
Many beloved cousins, nieces and nephews
Friends and family are cordially invited to attend a Celebration of Life service on Wednesday, October 18, 2023, beginning at 2 PM at Harmony of Mt. Juliet, 103 Belinda Parkway, Mt. Juliet, TN.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to the American Cancer Society.
Arrangements by Bond Memorial Chapel, N. Mt. Juliet Road and Weston Drive, Mt. Juliet, TN. (615) 773-2663. www.bondmemorial.com
For more obituaries visit https://wilsoncountysource.com/obituaries/