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Julianne's Story

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"I lift up my eyes to the mountains - where does my help come from? My help comes from the LORD, the Maker of heaven and earth." - Psalm 121:1-2. These words were a source of comfort and strength throughout Julianne's life. Now she has gone home to receive her eternal reward and meet her Savior, Jesus, after a short illness March 3, 2017. She left us much too soon and will be greatly missed by all who knew and loved her.
Born on April 16, 1935 in Kalamazoo, Julianne moved to Lansing and married her high school sweetheart, George E. Gillner Jr., in 1953. They raised their family and lived in the Lansing area for many years. Julianne and George moved to Traverse City in 1987.
Two years later Julianne's life changed dramatically when George died unexpectedly in a plane crash. During her time of grief and pain which followed, Julianne was invited to contribute her story to the book, "Afterloss: A Recovery Companion for Those Who Are Grieving" by Barbara LesStrang. The book has been cited as "the definitive book on grief recovery by both clergy and care professionals."
In June 1990 Julianne married her second husband, David L. Christensen, in Traverse City. David passed away in 2014. She recently moved to East Lansing to be closer to her daughters.
Julianne excelled as a mother and homemaker. "She was the best mom ever!" Her three children will never forget the extravagant birthday parties, holiday meals, Christmas cookies and many other ways she demonstrated her love.
But Julianne will be remembered most importantly for her strong faith in the Lord. She was formerly a member of St. David's Episcopal Church, Lansing, and more recently, Grace Episcopal Church, Traverse City. Her favorite activities included Bible study and Prayer Shawl Ministry.
Julianne was a source of comfort and inspiration to her family and friends.
She was preceded in death by her parents, Ernest W. and Marjorie L. Batterson; her husband, George E. Gillner Jr.; her husband, David L. Christensen; and her sister, Mary L. Stanton.
Julianne was devoted to her family and is survived by daughters, Deborah (Gene) Wright and Cynthia Gillner; son, Michael (Wendy) Gillner; stepdaughter, Tracy (Bruce) Berth; stepson, Eric Christensen; 10 grandchildren; one great-grandchild; and sister, Bonnie (Tim) McCamman.
Visitation is planned from 6 to 8 p.m. Thursday, March 9, at Gorsline Runciman Chapel, East Lansing, and from 10 to 11 a.m. Friday at New Hope Church, 1340 Haslett Road, Haslett. A service to celebrate Julianne's life will be held at 11 a.m. Friday, March 10, at New Hope Church.
Contributions in Julianne's memory may be made to the George Gillner & Julianne Gillner Christensen Endowment Fund, Capital Region Community Foundation, 330 Marshall St., Suite 300, Lansing, MI 48912 or Great Lakes Caring Hospice, 900 Cooper St., Jackson, MI 49202 or greatlakescaring.com.
Condolences and memories may be shared with the family at www.greastlansing.com.
Published on March 8, 2017
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