John Martin Christian

Christian Enlargephoto


Former Durango resident John Martin Christian died Monday, Feb. 4, 2013 in Durango. He was 87.

Mr. Christian was born to Fred and Dorothy Christian on Dec. 8, 1925, in Los Angeles.

He served in the Navy as a radioman aboard a transport ship during World War II from 1943 to 1946.

In 1947, he married Joanne Tennant in California, and the couple had a son, John Christian Jr. The marriage ended in divorce in 1957.

Mr. Christian worked at Dun & Bradstreet in Los Angeles, Oregon and Texas as sales manager for more than 40 years, retiring in December 1986.

On March 15, 1957, he married Celeste Furtsch in Las Vegas.

The Christians moved to Durango in 1988 and then back to California in 2002. Mrs. Christian died in 2004.

After her death, Mr. Christian became reacquainted with Joanne Frahm in 2005, and they were married in Oceanside, Calif., in 2009. They lived in Oceanside and St. Claire Shores, Mich.

An avid golfer, Mr. Christian also had a passion for college football, especially the University of Southern California Trojans, NFL football and professional golf. He also enjoyed crossword puzzles, Miller Lite and chocolate. He particularly loved spending time with his family, his family said.

Mr. Christian was preceded in death by his wife of 47 years, Celeste Christian.

He is survived by his wife, Joanne Christian, of St. Clair Shores; her two children, son David Baro of Lutz, Fla., and daughter Marte Baro of Minneapolis; his children Cherie Morris of Durango, John Christian Jr. of Houston and Robert Buell of Blue Springs, Mo.; brother Fred Christian of Citrus Heights, Calif.; and six grandchildren.

Private memorial gatherings are planned. For more information, email

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be sent to Guide Dogs for the Blind, Donations Department, P.O. Box 3950, San Rafael, CA 94912-3950, or online at