BARABOO/MADISON - Jo L. Christianson, age 70, of Madison passed away on Monday, October 21 at Agrace Hospice in Fitchburg, following a two year battle with metastatic lung cancer.
Born February 20, 1949, in Baraboo, Wisconsin, she was the daughter of the late Walter H. and Charlotte S. Barker. A 1967 graduate of Baraboo High School, she attended Stout State and as an adult student, the University of Wisconsin. It was with that return to college she also began her 24 year career as University Services Program Assistant at the UW-Baraboo Campus. It was also there she met her beloved husband of 27 years, Bill Christianson.
Jo exhibited an unparalleled loving and giving spirit, always seeing the best in every person she came in to contact with. She was a strong advocate for peace; a bit of a rebel, a supporter of the underdog, never afraid to speak her mind, and very passionate about social and veterans issues both community and worldwide. She loved her husband, family and friends with all her heart and always enjoyed coming up with unique gifts for everyone, often beautifully handmade.
She is survived by a daughter, Kimbra (Jason) Pierce of Oregon, Wisconsin; two step-daughters, Heather (fiancé Shane Julson) Christianson of Waunakee and Jamie (John Philipp) Christianson of Baraboo; three grandchildren, Lili Christianson of Madison, Isla McConnell and Claire Pierce of Oregon; and a sister, Susan Van Rixel of Waunakee. Jo is further survived by many nieces and nephews, other relatives and friends.
In addition to her parents, Jo was predeceased by her husband William Christianson; sister Ann Manley; and brothers-in-law Duane Manley and Gary Van Rixel.
Jo will be missed by everyone who knew her, and will be honored with two celebrations of her life. The first will be ¬a small reception for her Madison connections to be held on November 11, 2019, from 5:00-8:00 p.m. at North Street Cabaret, 610 North Street, Madison, Wis. The second reception will be a larger Celebration of Life in accordance with her wishes held near her birthday on February 22, 2020 from 1:00-4:00 p.m. at Baraboo Arts, Baraboo, Wis.
The family would like to express their deepest gratitude to the doctors and staff at Carbone Cancer Center and UW Health/University Hospital, and to the exceptional staff at Agrace Hospice in Fitchburg for their skilled and gentle care of Jo as she navigated her cancer journey.
Memorials may be made to Agrace Hospice.
"Love is benevolent and harmonious - a haven of peace." -Simon May
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