Baker City, Baker County, Oregon
Joyce “Joy” Mary Christensen, 62, of Baker City, died June 3, 2003.
In lieu of a memorial service, a picnic will be held in her memory for friends and family sometime in July. For more information, please call Dan Christensen at 425/880-4949 or Wes Christensen at 523-5561.
Joy was born on Oct. 24, 1941, in Butte, Mont. She spent her childhood moving around with her parents, working ranches all over the western United States and Canada, where she acquired her love of horses.
She later married and settled in the Baker area where she raised a family. She spent that time training and raising horses and spent many years involved in the 4-H horse program, in addition to maintaining the family business.
Joy also attended many riding schools, including the renowned Fulmer Riding Academy in Aiken, S.C.
In 1980, she relocated to western Washington where she worked as head trainer and riding instructor at Barnaby Stables on Bainbridge Island.
She later moved to Tucson, Ariz., where she worked as a ranch hand at a guest ranch outside of Tucson.
Later her travels took her to western Kansas where she worked and managed a cattle ranch.
Joy later returned to the Baker area, where she spent her last years as a musician, performer, entertainer and storyteller — preserving the early Western culture and heritage.
Her talents landed her performances at the Cowboy Hall of Fame in Oklahoma City; a western heritage museum in upstate New York; Cody and Jackson Hole, Wyo.; the Oregon State Fair; Oregon Parks; the National Historic Oregon Trail Interpretive Center; and many local events.
Joy was an inspiration to many. Anything she did, she did with a positive, selfless, can-do attitude. She had a great knack of making lifelong friends wherever she went.
She will be greatly missed by those who knew her. She devoted her life to friends and family, and there was nothing she wouldn’t do to help someone out. One could always depend on her no matter what the circumstance.
The world has been a better place because she was in it. She gave so much to this community throughout the years. She had a true love of life and country — a true patriot.
Survivors include one brother who lives in Tennessee; two nephews who live in Florida; four granddaughters, Brenna and Jenna Christensen of Carnation, Wash., and Chanda and Cheyenne Christensen of Baker City; two grandsons, Colton and Payton Christensen, also of Carnation, Wash.; three sons, Dan W. Christensen of Carnation, Wes A. Christensen of Baker City, and Sage — Joy’s dog who was a devoted companion and called a son sometimes.
Memorial contributions may be made to Sunrise Haven at P.O. Box 6057, Kent, WA 97064.
Used with permission from: Baker City Herald, Baker City, Oregon, June 13, 2003
Transcribed by: Belva Ticknor