Joyce Ellen Dobbert Christensen
March 1, 1933 – January 30, 2021
Joyce Ellen Christensen, nee Dobbert, passed away peacefully on January 30, 2021. Born March 1, 1933, to Bert and Mabel Dobbert, Joyce grew up in Chicago, attending Nixon School and Kelvyn Park High School. The North Side Gospel Center was where she met J. Robert (Bob) Christensen, who she would marry in 1953 and with whom she would raise two children, Steve (Karen) and June (Cliff Sorensen), six grandchildren: Melissa, Kyle, Lindsay, Sarah, Charlotte, and Erik, and many great-grandchildren.
After earning her BA from National College of Education, Joyce began teaching in Des Plaines. While raising her family she earned her Masters at National and entered the field of Special Education. Even as an administrator and eventually Director of Special Education for Maine Township, Joyce never lost her passion for “her kids” and was instrumental in creating more opportunities for special needs students through inclusion in mainstream classes.
Once retired from teaching, Joyce stepped into her role as Volunteer. Joyce worked to create and manage a Peer Jury in conjunction with the Park Ridge Police. The first female president of Park Ridge Rotary, Joyce fought for a Thorguard system for the community. She was also instrumental in the formation of the Maine Township School-Based Health Center. All of these efforts and many more focused on the health and safety of young people in the community she loved and served.
Joyce and Bob celebrated their 67th Anniversary on June 6th. Bob remembers holding Joyce’s hand in the back of her parents’ car at 15 years old! Their marriage focused on family, faith, and service. There is no way to measure the impact that their life together has had, but their family will tell you that their devotion continues to be an inspiration.
For all of Joyce’s many accomplishments and honors, what brought her the most joy was her grandchildren and great-grandchildren. Known as “Gram” and “Ma’am”, Joyce developed a meaningful relationship with each child, bragged on them regularly, and stayed in touch with each and every one of them. A memorial service will be scheduled at a later date. In lieu of flowers, contributions to the Maine Township School-Based Health Center would be appreciated.