James Edward Christner

1936 - 2020


Roswell, Ga., resident James E. Christner, 84, passed away June 12, 2020, with his family by his side.

Jim was born Jan. 7, 1936, in Wellman, Iowa, to Gideon and Hester Christner.

He is survived by his wife and love of his life: Darlene, to whom he was married 64 years; his sons: Scott, Tim (Denise), and Randall (Windy); and grandchildren: Jacob and Rhys. The youngest of five children, Jim is survived by sisters: Ada and Ann, and is preceded in death by brother: Willard and sister: Jean.

Jim was a 1954 graduate of Iowa Mennonite School. He earned his B.A. in chemistry from Goshen College and his Ph.D. in biochemistry from the University of Michigan. Dr. Christner went on to teach and conduct biomedical research at both University of Michigan and the University of Alabama in Birmingham.

Jim and Darlene worked together at Serim Research Corp., in Elkhart, Ind., where he retired as vice president of Research and Development in 2000. He continued contributing to the advancement of medical research by consulting with several companies into his late 70s. Jim was awarded numerous patents over his career. In 2011 he received the Chemical Pioneer Award and was appointed fellow by the American Institute of Chemists.

He was an athlete who ran marathons into his 40s and was an avid sports fan, especially of his grandchildren’s competitive activities. He also loved a wide variety of music.

Jim was a wise, soft-spoken, kind, and generous man. He was loved and cherished by his family and friends. We will miss him dearly.

In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to one of his favorite charities:

• Mennonite Disaster Service: https://mds.mennonite.net/donate/

• Children’s Development Academy of Roswell: https://cdakids.org/give/


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