Everett Christensen - December 20, 2012
Everett Niels Christensen was born at home in rural Morgan County, Colo., on April 12, 1924, the oldest son of Severt and Agnes (Andersen) Christensen. He was welcomed by an older sister, Erma, and became a big brother to Edgar Christensen, Robert Christensen, Ruth Christensen (Sagel) and Elna Christensen (Johnson.)
The family of Danish descent farmed and ranched in Morgan County, with Everett working alongside his Father and attending various country schools in the area.
He graduated from Brush High School in 1942. Times were not easy during the depression and war, but Everett was part of a loving and close knit family, extended family and church community. He was baptized and confirmed in the Lutheran Church.
Everett developed a love for ranching, livestock and rodeo as a young man, and was proud to have been active in Future Farmers of America and competed in livestock judging teams at the state level at the Stock Show in Denver. In fact, when he was a senior in high school, his judging team won the right to compete at national competition; however, World War II caused that opportunity to be cancelled. He had fond memories of the friendships and memories he developed from those experiences.
With the historical events of World War II as a current backdrop for him in high school, Everett joined the Army in 1943. His tour of duty was in the Pacific Theater during the Battles of New Guinea and Luzon, participating in the initial landing at Lingayen Gulf in the Phillipines. After his service in the army, he returned home to Morgan County and began farming with his father, brothers and various other family members.
Everett married Bessie DeGryse Nov. 3, 1946, at the home of Bessie’s parents in Snyder, Colo.
Everett and Bessie made their home on various farms and ranches around Masters, Wiggins and Hillrose, Colo. and welcomed four daughters into their home—Linda Marie, Ellen Louise, Diane Lee and Debra Lynne.
They farmed until 1967, when Everett’s health forced them to sell the farm north of Hillrose and Everett began to work for the State of Colorado, at the Port of Entry in Limon, Colo. He held this position until January of 1979, when he suffered a disabling heart attack and was forced to retire.
Everett and Bessie continued to live in Limon. They were active members of Zion Lutheran Church, where Everett sat on various committees and the church council, as well as assisting with the remodel of the parsonage with Pastor Jim.
When their health declined, Everett and Bessie moved to Carla’s Cluster Care in 2011. Everett received very special care there, with friends they had known throughout the years and the new friendships created.
Everett passed away on Dec. 6, 2012 after a long struggle with many illnesses. Throughout his life, Everett was a strong fighter. He survived being run over by a pickup on St. Patrick’s Day when he was in first grade, he looked death in the eye and survived duty in the Philippines in World War II, and he fought battle after battle with health issues over the last 34 years of his life. Everett did not quit and when confronted with a new health issue or treatment, always said “let’s do it,” recognizing he might not survive, but knowing he wanted to give it his all. He mentioned many times that if he had given up when they did not expect him to survive his first heart attack, that he would have missed meeting many of his grandchildren and a whole lot of life.
Everett is survived by his wife of 66 years, Bessie, and his daughters and sons-in-law, Linda Christensen-Holland and her husband, John, of Albuquerque, N.M., Ellen Copley and her husband, Bill, of Limon, Colo., Diane McIntosh and her husband, Raymond, of Pratt, Kan., and Debra Cline and her husband, Phil, of Colorado Springs, Colo.
He is also survived by the seven grandchildren of whom he was so proud, as well as seven great grandchildren and four great-great grandchildren.
He is also survived by his brother and sister-in-law, Edgar and Carol Christensen of Salinas, Calif.; his sister, Elna Johnson of Imperial, Neb.; his sister-in-law, Ada Stanley of Mt. Ayr, Iowa; his brother-in-law and sister-in-law, Glenn and Dorothy DeGryse of Bradford, Mass.; his sister-in-law, Renelda Scott of Kaneohe, Hawaii; his sister-in-law and brother-in-law, Joann and Larry Skaggs of Golden, Colo.; and a host of nephews, nieces, cousins and friends.
Funeral services were held Tuesday, Dec. 11, 2012, at Zion Lutheran Church in Limon, Colo., with Pastor Kristi Ursin officiating.
Music was provided by Tom and Sue Anderson and Melodie Lukow at the organ.
Burial was at the Pershing Memorial Cemetery with the V.F.W. holding the military honors.
Love Funeral Home of Limon was in charge of the arrangements.