Alton Raynold Christenson, 83, of Perham, formerly Deer Creek, died Monday, Sept. 7, 2009, at the Perham Memorial Home.
He was born in Douglas County on Oct. 12, 1925, the son of Ruth (Gullickson) Klimek. He was baptized at Evansville, Minn. At the age of 5, he went to live with his uncle and aunt, Ed and Annie Klimek, who raised him. He also spent many enjoyable times with his mother and stepfather, William and Ruth Klimek. He attended country schools at Battle Lake and Wendell, and one year of high school in Elbow Lake, where he was also confirmed. At 18, he drove truck for Soliah Brothers of Fergus Falls. He married Helen Knudson on March 1, 1946 in Elbow Lake. They moved to Waubun, Minn., where they farmed for four years. They moved to Fergus Falls in 1950 where he was employed as a truck driver and then was self-employed in a service station. He also worked for the Coca Cola plant until moving to Deer Creek in 1962. They farmed there until he retired in 1978. He became a seed dealer for 18 years, a job he really enjoyed. He enjoyed the company of his family and friends, playing cards, going to dances, fishing, reading Western books and gardening.
Funeral services were held Friday, Sept. 11, at the United Methodist Church of Deer Creek with the Rev. Mark Bateson officiating. Casket bearers were Rick Stras, Rick Norman, Carlton Moen, Jerry Straub, Don Barphel and Joan Williams. Interment is in Inman Cemetery, rural Henning. The Belmont Funeral Home in Henning was in charge of arrangements (www.belmontfuneal.com).
Survivors include his loving wife of 63 years, Helen, of Perham; daughters, Pam Niemi, Osage, Diane (Mick) Hannuksela, Deer Creek, and Julie (Greg) Morse, Bluffton; sons, Gary (Ardy) Christenson, Bertha, Dennis (Linda) Christenson, Battle Lake, and Butch (Carol) Christenson, Golden, Colo.; 12 grandchildren; 14 great-grandchildren; sisters, Kelly Norman, Battle Lake, Darlene (Jack) Nelson, Pelican Rapids, Dorene (Chuck) Carrison, Underwood; and numerous nieces and nephews.
He was preceded in death by his parents; a sister, Eleanor Keogh; a brother, Wilbert Klimek; a grandson; and a great-grandson.