Raymond Christensen, 85, formerly of Manning, died early morning, June 9, 2019 in Grimes.
Visitation Ohde Funeral Home, Manning Wednesday, June 12, 2019 4:00 PM - 7:00 PM
Visitation will resume at Zion Lutheran Church on Thursday at 9:30 AM
Funeral Service Zion Lutheran Church, Manning Thursday, June 13, 2019 10:30 AM
Interment Manning Cemetery Thursday, June 13, 2019
Officiating Pastor Robert Riggert
Congregational Hymns "What a Friend We Have in Jesus" "Amazing Grace" "Just A Closer Walk With Thee"
Carolyn Kerkhoff, Accompanist
Casket Bearers: Grant Christensen, Trent Christensen, Chris Kemper, Jared Sackett, Tim Schreck, Steve Schreck
Honorary Casket Bearers: Dan Kemper, Jenna Sackett, Mary Christensen
Interment with Military Honors Manning Cemetery, Manning
American Legion Post 22
VFW Post 3517
Iowa Army Honor Guard
Raymond Dale Christensen was born February 3, 1934, in Lewis, Iowa, to Nelson "Slim" and Effie (nee Friedrichsen) Christensen. Within a few years, the family moved to a farm five miles south of Manning where Ray spent most of his life. He attended rural school at Lincoln Township No. 5, Audubon County, and graduated from Manning High School in 1952, where he met the love of his life, Adele Ruth Gray. Ray and Adele were married on October 24, 1952, and lived for a short while in Littleton, Colorado, before he left to serve in the Army during the Korean War. Although he served in an artillery unit and talked of calculating coordinates for the howitzer he operated, if you asked him about his service, he spoke mostly about the mamasons who cleaned the soldiers' uniforms and showed photos of village children, whom he adored. Originally assigned the role of clerk, the army quickly learned Ray was a terrible typist, and so he was reassigned to coordinate all of the laundry services for his unit. After his honorable discharge, he and Adele returned to the family farm where they farmed and raised a family. Following retirement from farming, Ray drove truck with his son Paul, then worked at the Aspinwall Coop.
Ray was a member of Trinity Lutheran Church, the American Veterans of Foreign Wars, American Legion, 4-H leader for Lincoln Producers, and an active participant in the local card playing club at Cliff's Place in Manning. He and Adele were instrumental in getting New Hope Village in Carroll established so that special needs adults could live in a caring, home-like atmosphere. He was an avid life-long reader, having won reading awards in childhood, and devouring Zane Grey books as an adult. He loved to watch the wildlife and could name each species of bird that visited the farm or, later, his birdfeeder at the nursing home. Ray and Adele also loved to travel, and together they took many wonderful trips together, often accompanied by Adele's sisters and their families. He adored animals of every kind and had a particular fondness for dogs. Adele died in 2010, and Ray never fully recovered from her loss. In 2012, on what would have been their 60th wedding anniversary, Ray suffered a significant stroke. After many months of hard work and recovery at On With Life in Ankeny, he moved to Silveridge assisted living facility in Denison, and eventually relocated to Kennybrook Village Skilled Care in Grimes. He was fond of saying that his physician called him a "walking miracle." Although the stroke left him unable to read and with compromised use of his left arm, Ray still enjoyed fishing, usually catching more than everyone else combined, and outings to the casino with his sister, Doris. Although he suffered from alcoholism and depression, spending time with family and friends meant everything to him. Ray took special delight in children and in later life would stock up on small toys and candy to give to youngsters who visited him with their families. He eagerly looked forward to Halloween at the care facility so he could handout out treats to all the young ghosts and vampires that stopped in with their parents. By all accounts and observation, Ray had a bit of a playful attitude. He talks of the day when his mother couldn't find him, only to find he had climbed the Gray water tower. He was 5 years of age at the time. At assisted living, he was well known for playing small practical jokes on the residents and staff.
Ray left this world to join his beloved Adele on June 9, 2019. He is preceded in death by his parents, his wife and lifelong companion Adele, three infant children (baby Ray, Sheri Sue, Chris), in-laws Virgil Rowedder and Colene (Gray) Rowedder, and great-grandson Jackson Zane Kemper.
He will be greatly missed by those he leaves behind: son Paul (Monica) of Manning, Iowa; son Del (Dr. Debora) of Adel, Iowa; daughter Lauri (Allen) Sackett of Ankeny, Iowa; son Dana of New Hope Village, Carroll, Iowa; 7 Grandchildren: Chris (Marianne) Kemper, Dan Kemper, Grant Christensen, Trent (Lori) Christensen, Mary Christensen, Jared Sackett, and Jenna Sackett; 3 Great-grandchildren; his sister, Doris (Dr. Jerry) Schreck of Templeton, Iowa; sister-in-law Connie (Norman) James of Scottsdale, Arizona; and other relatives and friends. May he rest in peace.