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Don Christensen

July 29, 1930 April 26, 2019
Don Christensen
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Obituary for Don Christensen

Heaven gained another angel when Don Herman Christensen slipped peacefully into the arms of God on April 26, 2019. He was born in Burley, ID, to Herman and Zelda (Loveless) Christensen on July 29, 1930, one of eight children. As a boy, he lived in southern Idaho, with early curiosity and interest in chemistry and the sciences, at one point even joining in an “experiment” club.

When Don moved to Edgar, MT, in junior high, he was nervous to leave Idaho, but was pleasantly surprised by how quickly he was welcomed by his new friends. He looked forward to winters when he and his siblings could take the shortcut across the frozen river instead of walking miles around in order to catch the school bus, being certain to carry a stick for safety in case someone fell through. Don graduated from Edgar High School. It was there at a dance where a pretty thing named Gertie caught his eye. His friends encouraged him to ask her to dance, and their love story began. He married Gertrude (Blain) on Dec. 24, 1950, in the Joliet Christian Church.

Don worked on oil rigs in Wyoming until 1953 when he was drafted into the US Army. While serving, Don was selected to be a member of a competitive Army rifle team. He served during the Korean War with an honorable discharge as a sergeant in January 1955. Upon returning home, he completed his degree at Eastern Montana College. Don shared his love of science and math, teaching in Stanford, MT, before moving to Billings where he taught at Lincoln and Castle Rock Jr Highs. Don seemed to have nine lives, surviving many an experiment and accident, like making nitro glycerin with a couple of curious students who would have otherwise attempted this unsafely on their own. He entertained countless students by performing chemical reaction experiments in class in an effort to inspire their young minds. He was also a talented handy man with the ability to fix anything, anytime, anywhere.

During the summers, he enjoyed working with his father in law and brothers in law farming the fields around Joliet and later supporting and thoroughly enjoying their passion for aviation. Don looked forward to traveling to reunions each summer and loved spending time at his Cooke City cabin camping and fishing with his family. He was a longtime member of the First Christian Church and the Heights Lions Club. He enjoyed playing Santa over the years at the mall and various events. The twinkle in his eye, red rosy cheeks and his genuine love of children made him a natural choice. The neighborhood kids often knocked on the door asking, “Can Don come out to play?” Don loved following his grandchildren and great grandchildren in sports and activities, they brought so much joy to his life!

Don will be remembered as a gentle and kind man, with a true servant’s heart and deep love for his family and friends. He put everyone’s needs before his own, graciously and genuinely welcoming countless others into his “family” over the years. In dad’s own words, “I have lived a good life and I have no regrets!” We love you dad and will miss your loving heart and warm embrace, but God has set you free! You will live every day in our hearts as we wait here on earth until He unites us.

Surviving is his love of 68 years, Gertrude, of Billings, MT; daughters Linda (Rollin) Young of Amherst, OH; Carol (Jay) Zygmond of Billings, MT; Donna (Jay) Bodner of Helena, MT; 9 precious grandchildren and 7 great grandchildren; sisters Zelda Jean Redfield of Blackfoot, ID, and Sue Christensen of Farmington, NM. He is also survived by numerous family and friends. Please embrace for us in heaven parents Herman and Zelda, sisters Emma and Carol, and brothers Jerry, Dale and Bob.

The family extends a very heartfelt thank you to the wonderful folks at The Springs at Grand Park whom we appreciate immensely and have grown to care for like family as well as Stillwater Hospice for the personal attention, kind acts and gracious care. We are forever grateful to Dad’s “good friend” and physician Dr. Paolo Gerbasi and staff for the many years of tenderness, kindness and caring shown at every appointment.

Visitation will be Thursday, May 2 from 5-7 pm at Dahl Funeral Chapel, 10 Yellowstone Ave., Billings, MT.

Friends and family, please join us to celebrate Don’s life on Friday, May 3, at 11:00 am, First Christian Church, 522 North 29th St., Billings, MT. A light luncheon will follow in the fellowship hall, and all are welcome as we say final goodbyes at Joliet Cemetery at 2:00pm.

In lieu of flowers donations may be sent to the American Diabetes Association 2460 West 26th Ave. Suite C500, 5th floor, Denver, CO, 80211 or the Alzheimer’s Association at 3010 11th Ave. North, Billings, MT 59101.


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Previous Events

Visitation

Thursday

2

May

5:00 PM 5/2/2019 5:00:00 PM - 7:00 PM 5/2/2019 7:00:00 PM
Dahl Funeral Chapel

10 Yellowstone Avenue
Billings, MT 59101

Dahl Funeral Chapel
10 Yellowstone Avenue Billings 59101 MT
United States

Service

Friday

3

May

11:00 AM 5/3/2019 11:00:00 AM - 1:00 PM 5/3/2019 1:00:00 PM
First Christian Church

522 N 29th St.
Billings, MT 59101

First Christian Church
522 N 29th St. Billings 59101 MT
United States

Graveside

Friday

3

May

2:00 PM 5/3/2019 2:00:00 PM - 3:00 PM 5/3/2019 3:00:00 PM
Joliet Cemetery

Rural Joliet
Joliet, MT 59041

Joliet Cemetery
Rural Joliet Joliet 59041 MT
United States

Cemetery Details

Location

Joliet Cemetery Final Resting Place

Rural Joliet
Joliet, MT 59041

Rural Joliet Joliet 59041 MT
United States
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