Jo Ellen Christner, 68, of Peru, passed away May 6, 2021 at her residence. Born in Peru June 4, 1952, she was the daughter of Russell and Marjorie (Wickersham) Sonafrank. She was a 1970 graduate of Maconaquah High School. She attended Indiana University – Kokomo. Jo Ellen and her husband, Steven Christner, were married August 18, 1973 at the Bunker Hill United Methodist Church. She was retired from General Motors Fort Wayne Assembly.
She grew up in Bunker Hill and enjoyed reminiscing about different families, events, and characters from a bygone era of the town. She was an excellent cook, but she was quick to credit both her mother and mother-in-law for sharing their tips and techniques. Her love for her friends and family was unwavering—she enjoyed keeping in touch with them, often sending gifts or messages to mark special occasions, or sometimes for no reason at all. Her lifelong love of animals was evident in how she cared for her cats.
Jo Ellen is survived by her husband, daughter Amy Christner, Madison; son Benjamin Christner, Indianapolis; brother Steven (Jennifer) Sonafrank, Indianapolis; brother-in-law Dave (Jill) Christner, Bunker Hill; sisters-in-law Sue Ellyn (Mark) Gibson, Kokomo, and Julie Christner, Peru. Also surviving are niece Kaicy (Derek) James, Terre Haute; nephews Zach (Lindsay) Gibson, Kokomo, Corey (Becca) Christner, Bunker Hill, Tanner (Kate) Christner, Peru; aunts Julia Banter, Marilyn (Charles) Linn, LaVerne Sonafrank, and many cousins and friends.
She was preceded in death by her parents, parents-in-law, and a brother, Russell Sonafrank II.
Visitation will be from 4-8 p.m. Thursday, May 13, 2021 at Bennetts Switch Community Church, State Road 18, Bennetts Switch, IN. The funeral will be at 11:00 a.m. Friday, May 14, 2021 at the church with visitation one hour prior to the funeral. The Rev. Norman Snyder will officiate. Burial will be in Springdale Cemetery, Bunker Hill.
Memorial contributions may be made to Scratching Post Cat Rescue, 600 Chili Ave., Peru, IN 46970 or online at scratchingpostcatrescue.com.
Arrangements have been entrusted to Allen Funeral Home. Family and friends may sign the online guestbook at www.FlowersLeedyAllen.com.
To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Jo Ellen (Sonafrank) Christner, please visit our floral store.
Scratching Post Cat Rescue
600 Chili Ave., Peru IN 46970