Cover photo for James Franklyn Christopher's Obituary
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James Franklyn Christopher

May 15, 1935 — April 29, 2024

Strasburg

James Franklyn Christopher

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James Franklyn Christopher was born May 15, 1935 to Archibald James Christopher and Nancy La Faun Woolen. He passed away on April 29, 2024 after many years of fighting dementia. He was the third child of three sons and one daughter. He grew up on their farm in Hugoton, KS. The family moved to Limon, CO in 1949 to protect them from the dust storms. They bought a farm/ranch where Jim enjoyed farm life, doing chores, and being with his family. In high school he loved sports and was a star athlete in football, basketball, and excelled in track, his favorite.

Jim was prepared to follow in his father’s footsteps and become a farmer. However, his beloved father, Arch, died at 56 while Jim was serving his country in the US Army. He was released early because of a hardship discharge to help his mother. The farm was sold so Jim did not become a farmer. He enrolled at Colorado State College in Greeley and began his studies in Industrial and Physical Education. After a year, he met Jo Ann Daugherty at a dance in Genoa, CO. They fell in love and married December 21, 1958. To this union were born three children, Gwendolyn J. in September 1961, Philip James in February 1963, and Caroline J. in October 1970. 

Jim graduated from college in 1961. His first job was in Alamosa, CO as a Fine Arts and Physical Education teacher. They moved to Denver, CO and he worked at Gates Rubber Company, Continental Oil Company, at a convenience store where he was robbed while on shift, was an insurance salesman, and a Manager for Gaskill’s Department Store in Akron, CO. In 1971, Mr. Clements approached Jim about managing a department store in Springfield, CO, so Jim loaded up his family and moved to Springfield. Jim managed The Clement’s Department Store and purchased the store 3 years later, renaming it The Springfield Department Store.  While owning the store, he also rented tuxedos, ran the Ulysses Travel Service, was a substitute teacher at Springfield High School, did farm surveys, and was Custodial Engineer for the Methodist Church. He was a Jack-of-all-Trades. He owned the store until May 1999, selling it to Gary and Mary Hanna, who opened Treasure Chest Mall. Jim worked his booth at the Mall renting tuxes, booking trips and selling various odds and ends that he liked to pick up here and there until his retirement in 2009. Jim loved Main Street and was a leader in Chamber of Commerce, Economic Development, and Lions Club. He was an active member of the Baca Little Theater and Springfield United Methodist Church. He and Jo Ann were named Mr. and Mrs. Equinox and he was honored as Chamber Person of the Year.  Being included in the Limon HS Sports Hall of Fame and receiving the Order of the Arrow as a Boy Scouts leader were accomplishments he was very proud of. He and Jo Ann were known as Jimbo and Junebug in skits at the church. They also starred in many productions at the theater, his favorite being God’s Favorite by Neil Simon, about the trials and tribulations of Job. He also directed several plays and wrote and directed Crack Cave. Jim had the gift of gab and knew no stranger as he could talk to you until he found someone you both knew.  Jim and Jo Ann lived in Springfield for 44 years and moved to Strasburg, CO in April 2015 to be closer to family. He attended Strasburg Community Church and regaled new friends with his stories and personality. Jim enjoyed life to the fullest wherever he lived or worked. He was the class clown his whole life and he will be missed by all who knew him, including his home healthcare aide Mikki.

Jim is preceded in death by his father and mother Archibald and La Faun, stepfather William Kokko,  brothers Douglas Christopher and Jon Christopher, sister Nancy McKittrick, brother-in-law Terry McKittrick, nephew Chris McKittrick, father and mother-in-law Joe and Oleta Daugherty, and son-in-law Kevin Seligmann. Left to mourn his passing are his wife of 65 years Jo Ann and shih tzu Jimbo, daughter Gwendolyn (Steve) Calhoun, granddaughter Molly Calhoun, son Philip (Brenda) Christopher, grandson James (Kassie) Christopher, great grandchildren Austin Christopher, Ella Christopher, Breanna Haygood, and Camron Haygood, granddaughter Rachael (Sergio) Botello, great granddaughter Alina Rosales, daughter Caroline Seligmann, and granddaughter Katherine Seligmann, sister-in-law Anne Christopher, and numerous nieces, nephew and cousins. 

The family requests memorial contributions to be made to Strasburg Community Church, 56155 Sunset Ave, Strasburg, CO, 80136; Optimal Hospice, 4380 S Syracuse St, Suite 455, Denver, CO 80237; or Springfield United Methodist Church, P.O. Box 193, Springfield, CO 81073. A Celebration of Life will be held at Strasburg Community Church on Saturday, May 11, 2024 at 11:00am.

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Past Services

Celebration of Life

Saturday, May 11, 2024

Starts at 11:00 am (Mountain time)

Strasburg Community Church

56155 Sunset Ave, Strasburg, CO 80136

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