Chris Merle Christensen was born 100 years too late to Chris and Helen (Durband) Christensen in Nobles County, Minnesota on December 18, 1940. Given the title Jr at birth, he gave that up, thinking it was ridiculous. He was fondly called Sonny by his family and he told his sisters it was because he was so bright. Chris enjoyed caring for animals on his parents’ farm, loved to hunt and fish, and enjoyed making any vehicle run. Winning the third grade coloring competition in his Gene Autry color book, Chris found worth in school in Reading, but found the rules of high school in Worthington, foolish. What kid from the farm would wear gym shorts when you can easily run in jeans? Chris jumped a train when he was fifteen and headed west. He grew to love the west and was especially fond of Bruce Nixon who employed him as a ranch hand and offered a friendship that impacted his life forever.
Chris married Marlene Vandebrake and Vicki Stevens. Chris raised livestock and was a regular at a variety of livestock markets in southern Minnesota and in our area after his move north. He liked the challenge of learning new skills, was an avid reader, a good welder, made a fine fence, and built all the buildings on his farm.
Chris married Kali Nelson on December 31, 1981. Together, they built their log cabin, enjoyed motor cycle rides, and treks to Saratoga, Wyoming. Chris had a fondness for animals, caring for them, watching them grow, and enjoying them. He was a seasoned horseback rider and loved to ride in the cattle round ups in Wyoming each year. He enjoyed nature, a good joke, and Kids. He had a good spirit, quick wit, and an opinion.
Chris lived life the way he wanted to. He never gave up on a garment because it had a little age to it. He liked a good pair of boots, a good hat, long sleeve western shirts, and 501 jeans. He enjoyed his style and he enjoyed life.
Chris died at home on April 9, 2018. He is survived by his wife, Kali, and his children: Jess, Peggy, Nicholas, Chet (Amy), and his daughter-in-law, Anita (Stephen) Goetz; grandchildren: Amy (David), Ryan, Spencer, Anthony, Ashley, Tyler, MacKenzie, Jordan, Harrison, Dylan, Cooper, Sarah and Stevie; and several great grandchildren, Sisters: Dorothy Sjoberg, Alice (Byron) Bicknese, Jane Slocum, Betty Christensen, and Judy (Bill) Roberts; brother-in-law, Mark (Connie) Nelson, several nieces and nephews. Chris was preceded in death by his parents, his son, Randi, in-laws, Don & Jeri Nelson, and brothers-in-law, Marv Sjoberg and Steven Slocum. Chris was an independent man who will be remembered by many, especially Kids, for his humor and fun spirit. Chris appreciated the cowboy and the lifestyle of just changing shirts if you were headed out for dinner, always packing a gun of some sort, and living as Gus in Lonesome Dove who said, "It ain't dyin' I'm talkin' about Woodrow, it's livin”. Chrisso will live on in our hearts and spirits!