In Memory

Lucille M Barchard (Christensen) - Class Of 1934

Lucille M Barchard (Christensen)

Lucille Christensen passed away April 30, 2015. She was born in Chicago on July 29, 1916 to John and Wilma Barchard. Her family moved to Pasadena in 1928 and Lucille graduated from South Pasadena High School in 1934. At UCLA, Lucille was a PE major because she wanted to teach dance at the high school level. There was no dance program then, but she needed to earn a bachelor's degree to become a teacher. She lived at home, worked multiple jobs, and commuted each day to the UCLA campus. In 1938 she became the first in her family to graduate from college.

A college friend from Bakersfield encouraged her to apply for a teaching job there and she was hired, becoming the first woman to teach modern dance at Kern County Union High School. There she met J Merion Christensen who was a new teacher as well. They were married in Idaho in December 1938. Lucille's teaching career spanned some 30 years and also included assignments at East Bakersfield High School, Tehachapi Women's Prison, and Standard School where she taught math until her retirement.

Lucille was a role-model to many - balancing family, profession, and community involvement with fun and long-lasting friendships. She lived life to the fullest - traveling throughout the western US and Canada and later 'round the world; enjoying movies, plays, dance, and reading; and relishing bridge or any card game with friends. After retirement she was a tireless supporter of Guild House. She volunteered her time for 39 years serving in the capacity of server, hostess, and president of the Guild whose efforts benefit the Henrietta Weill Memorial Child Guidance Clinic.

We will miss her humor, upbeat nature, determination, sense of adventure, and courage. Our parents were married 50 years when dad passed away in 1988. Her children gratefully acknowledge the love, hard work, and sacrifices for family and friends made by our parents throughout their lives.

Lucille is survived by many friends and a loving family including daughters Karen Hollweg of Boulder, Colorado, and Jeri (Bill) Roberts of Porterville; three grandchildren and three great-grandchildren. Her son Tim Christensen died in 1998.

The Bakersfield Californian, May 3, 2015