Russell Christensen

Obituary of Russell Christensen

Russell Christensen age 99, of Sleepy Eye, MN died of natural causes on September 2, 2020, at Veterans Administration Medical Center in Minneapolis. Due to COVID -19 concerns a Private Family Graveside Service will be held at the Home Cemetery, Veterans Section on Saturday, September 5, 2020. The clergy will be Pastor Nathan Luong. Military Rites by the Sleepy Eye Honor Guard. Russell was born on July 15, 1921, to Edward and Emma (Hansen) Christensen in Eden Township. He was baptized as an infant and confirmed in his faith in his youth at St. Matthews Lutheran Church, Evan. He attended District 18 country school. He was a member of 4-H and played the fiddle in a neighborhood band. He married Phyllis Petersen on May 25, 1945. Russell was in WWII serving his country in the Navy as Aviation Machinist First Class from 1942-1945. He performed aviation maintenance, was an aerial gunner, part of the Seabees in combat/construction, and flew as crew on long range PBY sea planes. Following his honorable discharge Russell and Phyllis returned to the family farm where they raised their family. He was instrumental in the forming of drainage ditches on the farm and surrounding area. He was an active member of St. Matthews Church in Evan serving on committees, council President, and church helping with repairs and joining the Brookville church to St. Matthews. He was President of the Morgan Farmers Elevator which later became Harvest Land Coop which is now Farmward. He served as director on the Harvest States Board. He worked on the re-opening of the DME rail line from Springfield to Winona for the grain shipping terminal. He was a member of the Sleepy Eye Lions. Russell and Phyllis became members of Trinity Lutheran Church, Sleepy Eye in 1988. After retirement from farming, he enjoyed woodworking. He made baptismal boxes for Trinity Lutheran Church, and many ornate tables, model cars and tractors. He is survived by his two children, son, Ray (Barb) Christensen, Sleepy Eye, their children Darren, Brian (Holly) and Gwen (Trever) and great grandchildren Caleb, Mackenzie, Kyle and Kyson. Daughter, Dory (Jay) Venero, Shorewood, their children Mike (Sherry) and Susan (Erik) and great grandchildren Emma, Wynne, Orion, Russell, and Jay. Russell was a loving and much loved husband, father and grandfather. He was preceded in death by Phyllis, his wife of 53 years, parents, and sister and brother-in-law, Ruby and Rueben Dittbenner, and special friend Marjorie Kramer. We want to thank the staff and residence at Lake Villa Maria for the kindness shown to Russ these past several months.
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Interment Information

Home Cemetery
700 St. Mary's St. N.E.
Sleepy Eye, Minnesota, United States