PFLAG volunteer Barbara Lee Christiansen passes

By Dawn Wolfe Gutterman

HUNTINGTON WOODS - PFLAG volunteer Barbara Lee Christiansen passed away on Monday, Sept. 19 in her Huntington Woods home.

According to her obituary in the Sept. 21 Daily Tribune, Christiansen "enriched the lives of innumerable persons through her passionate involvement in the Detroit Zoo, Huntington Woods Study and Garden clubs, Huntington Woods Library, Detroit Opera, PFLAG, Pet-a-Pet and Oakland Audubon Society, among others. She had a boundless enthusiasm for life and a gift for inspiring the same in others."

PFLAG board member and Regional Director Mike Neubecker remembered Christiansen fondly.

"She had a great sense of humor," he said. "One of her favorite things to share was that her husband would answer the phone and ask for Barb and [according to her] he'd say - 'She's not here right now, she's trying to sell homosexuality to the Presbyterian Church,'" Neubecker said.

"She's a real loss to PFLAG," Neubecker continued. "She was always very out about having a gay child - and we need more parents to do that, to be out and to confront hurtful comments. Barb was a real role model in that regard - she certainly inspired Jan and I."

According to the Tribune obituary, Christiansen is survived by her "children, Kathryn Grant (Kent) Hardy of Evanston, Ill., Patricia Lee (Steven) Kalbfleisch of Columbus, Ohio, Kai Hvidkaer Christiansen and Karl Hvidkaer Christiansen, both of San Francisco; brother, Gordon Stauffer of Beverly Hills; grandchildren, Cole, Owen, Lauren, Brock, Peter, and Axel; and Welsh corgi, Mikey. She was predeceased in 2000 by her husband, Roy H. Christiansen, whom she married June 9, 1956, in Birmingham; and a grandson, Matthew."

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