RaeAnn Lehse (Christl/Janish), 64, of Fargo, ND, passed away in her home under the care of hospice, her family and her best friends on Feb 12th, 2016 after years of battling cancer. RaeAnn was born in 1951 in Valley City, ND to Robert & Gloria (Athey) Janish. She grew up in Fingal, ND and graduated from Fingal High School in 1969. On Oct 4, 1969, she married the love of her life Jim L Christl and they had 3 children, Jim, Jeannie & Paul. She lived in Fingal until the tragic death of her husband Jim in 1981. She moved to Fargo and married Jim Lehse on July 9th, 1984. RaeAnn had an unbelievable work ethic. Everyone that knew her, knew that she was happiest taking care of anything and everything that needed to be done. In 1988 she opened a catering business called “Black Tie Catering” and had a passion for cooking and entertaining. She not only used this passion in the business but also with her family and friends. She was always the entertainment planner and did an amazing job! Everyone will forever miss her hosting expertise. In 1998, she began working for the Fargo Diocese at Cardinal Muench Seminary where she cleaned and cooked for the future priests who studied there. In 2008, she went on to work directly for the Bishop at his residence in Fargo as the housekeeper. She was not just the housekeeper there, but the gardener and gourmet cook for the many social events. She will be missed by all! She was filled with love for her family and close friends and mostly for her devotion to all her grandchildren. RaeAnn was strong in her faith and lived her life as a child of God and a devout Catholic. She is survived by her husband Jim; children, Jim (Shannon) Christl of Moorhead, Jeannie (Dale) Kathrein of Fargo, Paul Christl (Katie Weber) of Minneapolis, and Step-Son Matt (Kristy) Lehse of Fargo; grandchildren, Mac & Jack Christl, Mari (JJ Regula) & Sam Kjos, Morgan & Maddie Christl, and Alivia & Isabella Kathrein; step grandchildren, Anden & Eian Lehse; siblings, Sandra Christl, Robert (Cathy) Janish, Peggy (Douglas) Harland; her best friends, Sharon Holt, Sylvia Schlagel, Stephanie Seibold, Linda Gustafson, Cindy Christl, Tammy Ertelt, Julie Smallarz and too many more to mention but not forgotten. She was preceded in death by her first husband Jim Christl, her father Robert Janish, her mother Gloria (Athey) Janish, her stepmother Dagmar Janish, her brother Neil Janish and her grandson, James. Visitation will be at Boulger Funeral Home and Celebration of Life Center on Thursday, Feb 18th from 5-7 p.m. with a prayer service at 7 p.m. Funeral will be held at Holy Spirit Catholic Church in Fargo on Friday, Feb 19th at 11 a.m. Burial will be held at a later date at Holy Trinity Cemetery, Fingal, ND.  

View current weather.

Memories Timeline

View the Timeline


  1. Every time I came to the Bishops House or at the Cardinal Muench kitchen she was always welcoming you and had a great smile for you. God Bless you Rae Ann.

  2. What a special person and friend, like my sister I never had. I am really going to miss our daily talks and all your knowledge from earlier years. The dinner dates won’t be the same without you. Heaven gained a great angel, LOVE and MISS you my friend. Life will never be the same.

  3. God Bless you Rae Ann. I will not be able to join family and friends for the CELEBRATION of LIFE for Rae Ann but you are all in my heart and prayers. Rest in Peace dear Rae Ann. You were a good and faithful servant of the Lord. Thank you for the memories.

  4. She gave and gave and gave…a true Christian. She will be sorely missed at the bishop’s house. Rae Ann, may you rest in peace.

  5. God has taken a very nice lady to heaven. Our Sympathy to the family. Rae Ann was a wonderful wife, Mother, sister and friend. She treasured her family and all the good times had with everyone. We will treasure our memories and smile at the good times. Rae Ann was a very hard working woman that lived through a very sad time in her life, when her husband was killed in an auto crash when the children were small, I spent a great deal of time with her at that time and know how difficult that loss was for her. But she accepted her loss and went on to raise their 3 children and began a new life with a good man that she loved. May God Bless all the family. Jim, Jimmy, Paul & Jeannie and their families. Her Sister and brother will miss her deeply. Cherish your memories, share all the good times and laugh, cry and continue to love one another.

  6. I always called Rae Ann my 2nd mom. I loved her like my own mom. She treated me as nothing less than one of her own. There are no words to describe how much I’m going to miss that amazing woman! My heart aches the same as when my parents departed. We are all blessed to have been a part of her life. God bless her forever!

  7. Jim and family, very sorry to hear that Ray Ann has passed away, our thoughts and prayers are with you at this difficult time.

  8. My prayer and condolences to the Rae Ann’s family. Your mom was an awesome person and friend. I love her dearly. She was so fun to work with and I feel honored to call her my friend. My she rest in peace. Will miss you Rae Ann.

  9. Good bye Rae, You are one of the strongest yet caring ladies I have ever known! You just understood when I needed understanding and I feel so very privileged to have had you in my life. I love you! You will be missed everyday.

  10. Thanks to RaeAnn for being a dear family friend, especially to my mom, Stephanie. RaeAnn was a character–a truly engaging individual with endearing qualities. When she was around, you always knew you’d be laughing! Her energy and zeal for life were contagious. RaeAnn’s sense of humor and storytelling abilities will be missed.

    I’m glad I was one of the people who knew RaeAnn. No doubt, my life is enriched for knowing her. She’s been a part of our family for over 30 years–she’s seen the good, the bad, and the ugly. I love her, and I will miss her immensely. She was a wonderful human being whose light shone on all of us. RaeAnn – Thanks for all of the love and laughter, Tiffany

  11. Thank you mom for always being there for me!! I am missing you so much and feeling lost. I am trying to start a new normal. It’s was a wonderful journey together. I am so happy that you don’t have anymore suffering in your life now. You are a very beautiful and loved woman. Thank you God for letting me have her as a mother!! Rest in peace mom. Till we meet again some day.

Sign the Guestbook, Light a Candle

Sign the Guestbook