Eric William Christenson
January 31, 1924 ~ December 11, 2012
December 15, 2012
William “Chris” Christenson returned to the Lord
on December 11, 2012. A memorial service for
Chris will be held at 2 p.m. Friday, December
21, at the Crossroads Chapel in Bonners Ferry,
Pastor Gayle Morman presiding.
Chris was born on 31 January, 1924, in Brooklyn,
New York, to Charles and Astrid Christenson. He
graduated from Mepham Senior High School on Long
Island New York, and enlisted in the United
States Navy in May, 1941.
Chris served throughout World War II as a radio
operator and back seat gunner in TBF Avenger
torpedo bombers and SB2C dive bombers, flying
off a variety of fleet and escort carriers in
both the Atlantic and Pacific theaters. By war’s
end, he had flown some 500 combat missions. It
was at the end of the war, in 1945, when he met
Betty Gail Hammond, also in the Navy at the
time. They were married on September 14, 1945.
Chris and Betty settled initially in Slocum,
Rhode Island, where they raised two sons, Eric
C. and Jan Christenson. Chris continued his Navy
career, flying in a variety of aircraft off Navy
carriers and deploying frequently from the East
Coast, retiring as a Senior Chief Aviation
Electronics Technician in 1960.
The family moved west to California in 1961,
when Chris took a position with Lockheed
Missiles and Space at the West Coast Satellite
Operations Center in Mountain View. Throughout
this time the family continued to look for that
ideal place, eventually finding it off Old Addie
Road in Bonners Ferry in 1968.
Chris was a dynamic and imaginative man who was
never afraid to tackle any new challenge. He
would try anything, from designing his own
camper, raising beef cattle and running a saw
mill, to radio electronics and computers. His
interests included amateur radio, wood working,
the saw mill, computers, and of course the
Both he and Betty loved the life they carved out
for themselves on the ranch in northern Idaho.
Chris was a hard driver and excellent problem
solver who did not suffer fools gladly, and was
the kind of man who made this country what it is
Chris was preceded in death by his wife of 64
years, Betty, and his son Jan Christenson, and
is survived by his son Eric C. Christenson,
grandsons Eric W. Christenson II, Jan David
Christenson, and Jeremy Christenson, as well as
granddaughter Jennifer Christenson Duer.
He was also blessed with five
great-grandchildren: Abigail Christenson, Lauren
Christenson Duer, Erica Christenson Duer, Andrew
Christenson Duer, and Tyler Christenson.
Family and friends are invited to sign Chris’s
Arrangements are entrusted to the care of
Bonners Ferry Funeral Home.