Cover photo for Joy Christian's Obituary
1928 Joy 2020

Joy Christian

December 24, 1928 — January 16, 2020

Albert Lea, MN

Joy Lorraine Means was born Christmas Eve, December 24, 1928, in Albert Lea, the fourth daughter of Stella and Henry Means.  (Growing up in the depression meant maintaining gardens in various places to feed a family of nine – and only one bike for seven kids!)  Joy attended schools in Albert lea.

Joy met Byrine “Bye” Christian in Emmons, MN, and they were married May 2, 1948.  Their children are Amy Dodd and Greg Christian, who were raised in the house built by Bye and his father, Melvin Christian.  It was the first house built on Burr Oak Drive.  Neighbors quickly became family on that street.

A lifelong member of First Lutheran Church, Joy taught Sunday School in the 1950’s, volunteered in the office, and was hired as an Executive Secretary, where she retired at the age of 65.  This was too early, so she soon went to work as a Secretary at the Albert Lea Treatment Center, meeting many new friends.  She was an active member of FLC - a charter member of her circle.  She loved music, theater, attended every play and music production of ALHS and the Marion Ross Theater.  She was an active volunteer for the American Cancer Society of Minnesota, the Audubon Society, a poll sitter during elections, and loved her three bridge clubs, bowling league, and book club until her stroke in 2008.

She and Bye traveled two to three times every year to visit Amy and Greg and their families in Montana and enjoyed many trips with friends. Joy became a resident of St. John’s Lutheran Community in 2014 where she was treated with love and respect by the fine staff, and lately by St. Croix Hospice.

She is survived by her brother, Frank Means; daughter, Amy (Daryl) Dodd and their children: Sarah Moreni, Heidi Heaphy, Lindsay Bartholomew and their families. Son, Greg (Michelle) Christian and their children: Jesse Christian, Amy Gruber, Niki Hamlin, Mary Jo Johnston and their families; numerous nieces and nephews with very special thanks to nieces Rosalie Rolands and Judy Christensen for their loving care and attention.

Joy was preceded in death by her husband Bye; her siblings, Beverly Boone, Mildred Wolff, Donna Estebo, Phyllis Philips and Dean Means.

Memorial services will be held at 11:00 AM on Thursday, January 23, 2020 at First Lutheran Church, Albert Lea, with Rev. John Holt officiating.  Visitation will take place one hour prior to the service at the church.  Memorials are suggested to St. John’s Lutheran Community of Albert Lea or the memorial of your choice.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Joy Christian, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services


Thursday, January 23, 2020

10:00 - 11:00 am (Central time)

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Memorial Service

Thursday, January 23, 2020

Starts at 11:00 am (Central time)

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.


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