Entered the presence of her Lord along with her mother-in-law Sharon Hufford on March 15, 2014. She was born to Don and Norma Christensen in Santa Rosa, California on March 12, 1961. She was always a Panther, and she enjoyed sporting events and being part of the song-leading squad. She loved the violin since elementary school, and upon graduating Santa Rosa High School, was selected for a travelling youth symphony that toured the Midwest and East Coast. She met her husband Jay during her first week at Santa Rosa Junior College, at the InterVarsity group. She later attended Fresno State University where she received her bachelor's degree in music education. She played cymbals in the Pride of the Valley Marching Band, and thrilled to the success of both the football and basketball teams during that time. Together with Jay, she made many lifelong friends while there as part of the Evangelical Free Church of Fresno. They married and spent their first year in San Jose where Sue received her teaching credential and made many wonderful friends at Los Gatos Christian Church. The following year she lived in Portland where she and Jay attended Multnomah Bible College, and where she experienced her first and only "white Christmas" season. After this, they decided to return to Santa Rosa to raise their family. She worked at Pisenti & Brinker before discovering a love for teaching at Mark West Elementary School in 1999. She began as a part-time strings teacher assisting with the music program. Later, she took leadership of the music program, providing music education to hundreds of children, and splitting her time between three (and later four) schools. She fought to keep the music program alive in the school district in the face of budget cuts through fundraisers and public performances. She also held concerts at the schools featuring band, chorus, and stringed instruments. In addition she worked one day a week in the Alexander Valley School District. She loved the beautiful weekly drive to and from the school and the energy of students and the motivated group of people behind the school's enrichment program. She was committed to helping young people throughout her life. She used her talents to provide music for Vacation Bible School, children's church, and AWANA ministries. Later, she mentored young women through weekly small groups at Emmaus Youth Ministries. She enjoyed watching her children play sports, including basketball and football; in her spare time, she liked skiing, hiking, and camping, and went swimming regularly at the local pool. She looked forward to traveling with her family, and had a wonderful time visiting several states, as well as three countries. She especially loved the four seasons, and getting to see beautiful waterfalls, forests, and mountains on her journeys. Sue is survived by her best friend and loving husband, Jay, her three children, Stephanie, Jeffrey, and Joel; her father Don Christensen and his wife Ann; her sister Karen Christensen and brother-in-law John Rosenberg and their children Lucas and Julia; her father-in-law Don Hufford; her sister-in-law Terri Garcia and her husband Chris and their children Gayle, Robin, and Kyle; her sister-in-law Jeanette Carlsen and her husband Len Carlsen and their children Anna Rose and Taylor. She was preceded in death by her mother, Norma Christensen and brother-in-law Tim Hufford. Sue will be remembered for her kindness, strong work ethic, character, and as a beloved wife, mother, friend, mentor and teacher who shared the gift of music with many, and who led by example. Services will be announced via the website: www.youremmaus.com In lieu of flowers, you can donate to the Susan E. Hufford "The Music Continues" Fund which will go to the Mark West Education Foundation - information at www.comfirstcu.org or you can donate to Emmaus Youth Ministries - information at www.youremmaus.com. . Santa Rosa Mortuary Eggen & Lance Chapel, 545-3747
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Santa Rosa Mortuary Eggen & Lance Chapel
1540 Mendocino Ave.
Santa Rosa, CA 95401
Published Online in the Press Democrat from Mar. 23 to Mar. 26, 2014