Jill L. “Kerness” Christie, 82, died in Duluth, MN on Sunday, April 3, 2022
Born on Sept. 22, 1939, Jill a lifelong resident of Duluth, graduated from Stanbrook Hall High School/ The Villa, in 1957. She remained a very close friend amongst her classmates - sharing in coffee dates and lunches. In 1959, Jill married Richard “Dick” Christie and they shared 53 years together. They owned and operated the family business, Christie Lithograph and Printing Company until their retirement in 1995. Later it was onto their travel years, extensively covering much of the U.S. Jill was notably proud of teaching preschool at Lakeside Presbyterian Nursery School, and later serving on its board. Mom loved the innocence and energy of children!
Receiving a liver transplant in 2010, she was blessed, and most gracious with her second new life. Always devoted in her faith – she was a member of Lakeside Presbyterian Church, an ordained Elder and Clerk of Session at the time of her death. She supported and volunteered at the Damiano Center Soup Kitchen from its inception in the 80’s and later she was celebrated as the United Way Volunteer of the Year in 2019. Jill firmly believed that no one in this country should go without food or shelter. A passionate reader, she co-founded Contemporary Studies, a weekly book club where she built such warm camaraderie from 50+ years of meaningful discussions. During the pandemic, her Thursday-morning Zoom meetings with the CS Sisters continued to bless her with friendship and purpose!
She felt at peace in the outdoors whether golfing, X-country skiing, fishing, hunting, watching loons from the dock of the Island Lake Cabin or just picking shells on Sanibel Island. Jill enjoyed life and loved hearing people’s stories - talking on the phone to all was her purpose. Eating a tasty breakfast cookie or sucking on a red Tootsie pop, apple caramel sucker or a spearmint Lifesaver was part of daily joy in her life!
She is proceeded in death by her husband Richard “Dick” Christie, parents Morris and Doris (Bailey) Kerness, siblings, Victor Kerness and Kathee Johnson
Jill is survived by her children, Brooke (Kevin) Roalson, Paige (Rick) Mellinger, Cort (Sheila Colfer) Christie; grandchildren, Erik Roalson, Joshua (Gao) Roalson, Jacob and Ryan Mellinger, Luke (Haleigh) Christie and Lian Christie; great-grandchildren, Cormac and Ewan Roalson, Camden Roalson, and soon to arrive - baby Hendrix Christie; brother, Lance Kerness (Sharon Henderson); sister, Layne Whiteman; special friend Gary Spakosky; and many beloved nieces, nephews and incredible friends.
She was blessed to have the love and support of her LPC family and especially Pastor Kari Jutila. Our family is extremely grateful to Dr. Popham, Fresenius Kidney Care - Spirit Valley staff, Mary, Brenda, Jacob and all who were part of Team Jill!
A Memorial Service will be held at 10:30am on Saturday, August 20th, 2022 at Lakeside Presbyterian Church, 4430 McCulloch St., Duluth, MN 55804. Visitation with the family - 30 minutes prior with fellowship time to follow afterwards in the church Fellowship Hall. In lieu of flowers, memorials can be sent to: Lakeside Presbyterian Church or Damiano Center Community Kitchen. Arrangements by Dougherty Funeral Home. 218-727-3555.