Roy Wallace Christensen, of Edison, Nebraska, departed this life at the Arapahoe Good Samaritan Nursing Home and went to his heavenly home on his 91st birthday, March 21, 2015.
Roy was the ninth of the thirteen children in the Holger and Emma (Noren) Christensen family. He was born on a Harlan County farm south of Orleans, Nebraska, on March 21, 1924. He was baptized as an infant and again on May 3, 1970, by immersion in the Edison Christian Church.
Roy completed the eighth grade and chose not to go to high school since the other boys in his class weren’t continuing on. After his schooling, Roy worked with his dad and brothers and did some custom baling. Later he worked for the Harlan County Road Department and drove the road grader. He was proud of the fact that he drove a brand new maintainer home from Omaha in two days. He also worked as a soda jerk in Minnesota and in an orchard in the state of Washington. Roy registered for the draft several times but was classified with a farm deferment. Eventually he was scheduled to head to war, but World War II ended before he was sent.
On October 5, 1950, he married Elizabeth Anne Black in Holdrege, Nebraska. They made their home south of Alma, Nebraska, for a decade before moving southwest of Edison, Nebraska, in March of 1960. There they farmed and ranched along the Republican River. He was a member of the Edison Christian Church, served on the church board and was a deacon. Roy enjoyed farming, raising and feeding cattle and hogs. He was close to his family and enjoyed family gatherings especially with his brothers. He also had a special relationship with his grandkids. He would smile, and his face would light up when the grandkids teased him. A few of their ornery antics were sneaking into his home and putting his favorite kitchen chair on top of his kitchen table, putting a “For Sale” sign on his lawn in front of his farm home, and hiding his cookie jar in the refrigerator or other places in his home. Roy was most comfortable when he was sorting cattle and had a host of identical sorting sticks to do this job. He was continually losing his sorting stick and since all of the cattle sorting poles were identical, he was quick to lay claim to the first one he found in someone else's hand. Eventually, Roy became tired of people "stealing" his stick, and thought he'd solve the problem by painting his sorting pole red. While his stick was still misplaced quite often, he would eventually find it and then remember leaving it there. In a creative attempt to help with memory retrieval, his grandsons would periodically paint his red stick green or blue. Even when his grandsons were adults, Roy would tell them, “Don’t make me take you down and sit on you!” Roy wasn’t always on the receiving end of pranks. He helped his grandson, Brent, jack up his son-in-law, Dan’s, two-wheel drive pick-up so Dan couldn’t leave the farm.
He also served on the Edison School Board and Edison Co-op Board. He participated in Indiana University’s research on the “Genetics of Late Onset Alzheimer Disease.” Due to health reasons, he moved to Arapahoe Good Samaritan Center in January of 2014. Roy was preceded in death by his parents, wife Elizabeth “Anne”, sisters Mildred Wessels, two sisters named Doris (one died in infancy), and Arlene Kammerer; brothers Earl, Walter “Raymond”, Wayne, Lawrence “Buster”, Wesley, Virgil, Darrell; and sisters-in-law LaVerne, Vera (Irene), June, and Elma Christensen and Gloria Black; brothers-in-law William Wessels, Lyle Steenis, C. “Wayne” Smith, Marvin Kammerer, Claude Black and George Black. He was also preceded in death by his great granddaughter Audrey Ann Fish Haberman.
Waiting to join Roy in heaven are his sons Melvin Roy and wife Ruth (Haussermann) Christensen of Arapahoe, Nebraska; Mark Richard and wife Kathryn (Dake Fish) Christensen of Imperial, Nebraska; daughters Donna Louise and husband Daniel Yilk of Gothenburg, Nebraska; Janis Anne and husband Joe Koester of Frisco, Texas; brother Don and wife Jean Christensen of Alma, Nebraska; sisters-in-law June Christensen of Topeka, Kansas; Roma Black of Wahoo, Nebraska; and Barb Black from Minden, Nebraska.
His grandchildren include Brent (Jamie) Christensen of Arapahoe, Kendall (Joni) Christensen of Papillion, Dallas (Kylie) Christensen of Edison, Elizabeth (Andrew) Martin of Waverly, Sebastian (Emma) Edwards of Gretna, Jeremy (Elizabeth) Yilk of McCook, Kristen (Joseph) Rubenthaler of Papillion, Adam (Bernice) Yilk of Ansley; Krystal Koester of Addison, Texas; Keith Koester and Kelsey Koester from Frisco, Texas; Erica Fish (Sam Haberman) and Emilee Fish from Edmond, Oklahoma; Steven Fish, Isaiah Christensen, Ryelee Christensen, Brooklyn Christensen, and Malachi Christensen from Imperial, Nebraska. His great grandchildren are Parker, Breckyn, and Kyler Christensen, Landon and Bryer Christensen, Kinley Christensen, Ethan Martin, Camryn, Nolan, and Kasen Yilk, Kade Rubenthaler, Jameson Yilk, and Jaxon Bose. He also has a host of cousins, nieces, nephews and friends.
Blessed are those who live and die in the LORD.
Condolences or personal reflections may be left at wenburgfuneralhome.com.
Viewing and visitation will be Thursday, March 26, 2015, from 10 a.m. till 5:30 p.m. at Wenburg Funeral Home, then the family greeting will be from 6:30-8:00 at the Arapahoe Church of Christ in Arapahoe, Nebraska. Funeral services will be on Friday, March 27, 2015, at 10:30 a.m. at the Arapahoe Church of Christ with Pastor Dave Welch officiating. Interment will be at Arapahoe Cemetery at Arapahoe, Nebraska. Wenburg Funeral Home of Arapahoe, Nebraska, is in charge of the arrangements.