Donald Wayne Christensen
August 15, 1932 - February 28, 2020
Funeral services for Donald Wayne Christensen, 87, of Gregory, SD, were held at 10:30 a.m.Wednesday, March 4, 2020, at Union Congregational Church of Gregory, SD, with Pastor Tim Voigt officiating.
A prayer service was held Tuesday, March 3, 2020, at Union Congregational Church of Gregory, SD.
Burial was at I.O.O.F Cemetery of Gregory, SD.
Donald Wayne Christensen died Friday, Feb. 28, 2020.
Donald Wayne Christensen was born Aug. 15, 1932, at Dallas, SD, in the little white house where his parents lived to Albert and Elsie (Knittel) Christensen.
He was the third oldest of seven children, a half brother to Howard and half sister to Donna, a brother to Robert, Joan, Melvin and Marvin (Short).
His family grew when his mother married Joe Svoboda in December of 1953 and he was happy for his mom and glad to have gained five more siblings – Franklin, Marilyn, Gwendolyn, Eleanor and Vince Svoboda.
At the age of four, Donald and his family moved six miles southeast of Gregory, SD, where they farmed with horses and raised cows. This was during the Dirty Thirty’s! In sixth grade, his family and Donald moved to
Lucas, SD. He graduated from eighth grade from Hornbeck School.
Eight years later, they moved back to Gregory, SD. In 1947 his dad bought the Paxton store.
Donald’s father died when he was 17 years old. His dad was 54 years old.
This is about the time Donald chose to go out on his own. Donald’s family moved in with his uncle until Elsie married Joseph Svoboda, who had five children of his own. Their family grew to 12 brothers and sisters!
Donald married his first love, Caroline Boerner in Winner, SD, on March 2, 1952. Donald and Carolyn made their home in Winner, SD, for the next 18 years where they became proud parents to four sons – Robert, Dennis, Jerry and Scott.
Donald and his family were baptized in Winner, SD.
He served on the church board. Later, they moved to Gregory, SD, in 1967 where Donald worked for Rosebud Electric Association and where their boys graduated from Gregory High School of Gregory, SD. They were
active members of the Congregational Church. The family enjoyed weekend camping trips to the river to fish and relax during this period.
Donald worked a variety of jobs but in June of 1960 he was hired by Rosebud Electric. In 1950-1951, he helped build 600 miles of line, for the newly formed cooperative, in the Winner, SD, Witten, SD, Clearfield, SD,
and Wewela, SD, areas. Thirty-four years later, he was forced to retire for medical reasons in 1994. It was one of the hardest things he ever had to do!
Donald was not the kind of person to sit still.
Some of the many joys of his life were being involved with his family, church (passionate about the Lord) and community!
He was a good neighbor and friend, supportive and quick to help.
He enjoyed hunting, fishing, playing cards, woodworking, sitting and visiting with family and friends!
He built the beautiful bookshelves in the church office as a memorial to Caroline when she died in August of 2001. He built his own camper and boat.
Donald was elected for four terms as an alderman for Gregory’s Ward II.
The Lord was looking out for Donald because God gave Donald two wives to love! Dorothy and Donald were married on Aug. 25, 2009.
Like Donald and Caroline, Donald and Dorothy traveled to Salome, AZ, for the winter months. Donald spent 23 years at Salome, AZ, where they met many great people – Phyllis, Pete, Patti, Dean and many other friends. They made many friends in their travels and loved returning home to their friends in Gregory, SD.
He was an optimist, especially evident during this last year’s fight with cancer.
He was a man known more for giving than receiving.
This kind, loving man with a heart of gold will be missed by his family and friends immensely. His warm smile, kind heart and infectious spirit to help anyone will always be remembered!
Grateful for having shared his life are his loving wife, Dorothy Christensen and her family, Bill Miner and wife, Lori and Audrey Ticknor and husband, Don; three sons, Dennis Christensen and wife, Kathy, Jerry Christensen and wife, Melody and Scott Christensen; a brother, Marvin Christensen and wife, Janice; sisters, Joan Songer and Donna Dice; sisters-in-law, Linda Svoboda and Carol Christensen; grandchildren, Kim Johnson, Dustin Christensen, Casandra Christensen and Willy Guerrero; nine great grandchildren and several cousins, nieces, nephews and friends.
He was preceded in death by his first wife, Caroline Christensen; his parents, Albert and Elsie Christensen; his stepfather, Joe Svoboda; five brothers, Howard Christensen, Robert Christensen,Melvin Christensen, Franklin
Svoboda and wife, Mavis and Vince Svoboda; sisters, Marilyn Elwell, Eleanor Salmon and husband, Darrell and Gwendolyn Meinen and husband, Ed; brothers-in-law, Lester Songer and Andy Dice; a son, Robert Christensen and a daughter-in-law, Cindy Christensen.
Kotrba-Smith Funeral Home of Gregory, SD, was in charge of arrangements.