Holger Christen Christensen passed away May 2 from natural causes, leaving his family bereft. He was preceded in death by his parents Anna and Andrew Christensen; brother Bernhardt; and sister Dagne.
Holger was born in 1920 in Superior, Nebraska and attended his earliest school there. In 1930, his family immigrated with four other families to farm newly-opened irrigated land near Tilley, AB. There, he worked on the family farm while attending the (now closed) Renfrew and then Brooks schools. In 1938 he attended Camrose Bible College. After the war broke out, he joined the Royal Canadian Air Force in Moose Jaw, where he became a bomber navigator. After the war, he graduated from Dana College in Nebraska. He began teaching at the Lutheran Cherokee Indian Mission in Oaks Oklahoma in 1949. There he met and married the love of his life, fellow teacher Mary Belle (nee) Trout. They began their family there with Diane and then twins Mark and Allan. They moved to Tulsa, Oklahoma in 1953, where Holger worked as an engineer with the McDonald Douglas Corporation. They completed their family there with Lynn. In 1957 they moved 3,000 km to Tilley, AB where Holger became first vice principal and then principal. It was a move they never regretted. They moved to Calgary in 1963 where Holger became science department chair at Henry Wisewood High School. They found their true home in Calgary, and spent the next 40 years raising their family, completing their careers, and enjoying retirement. Holger moved to Oshawa, Ontario in 2004 after his wife passed away.
Holger led an accomplished life. He had a reputation for bringing clarity and understanding to high school science and math classes. He took leadership positions at the schools he taught at. For years he helped develop provincial science standards and curricula. He took men’s and women’s basketball teams in Tilley and Calgary to regional and provincial championships. He taught youth and adult bible classes and provided leadership at the churches they regularly attended.
Holger was also a man of many interests. He avidly grew flowers and vegetables throughout his life. He produced much sawdust over the years while woodworking. He loved to photograph, and developed a large collection of that most beautiful subject, the “Alberta sunset”. His camera was never out of reach on their many travels, which included popular destinations in Latin America and Europe, Cherokee Indian homelands or ancestral Danish towns, and frequent trips to see children and grandchildren. He proudly held Calgary Stampeder and Flames season tickets for many years, and curled in leagues from Brooks to Calgary. He was forever playing his encyclopaedic collection of big band and musical albums on the “stereo” while indulging in his other passion for reading. He and Mary Belle loved and entertained their many friends, usually around the dinner table. His kids rarely remember a weekend without a dinner shared between friends.
Holger’s passing leaves a hole in the hearts of his family and friends. He was happy in his work and interests, and happiest in the company of his wife and friends. He always thought the best of those around him, and was uniformly polite and friendly to everyone. He was patient and loving with his kids. He is survived by his brother Ansgar; his children, Diane, Mark, Allan, and Lynn; their spouses, Dennis, Debbie, Carol, and John; and grandchildren, Katie, Grant and wife Robin, Cody, Mark, Lucy, Todd, John, Dana, Andrew, and Anna. We will laugh (and cry) over the years remembering our father.
Funeral Services will be held at Bethany Lutheran Church (RR 1 Tilley, AB) on Saturday, May 30, 2009 at 12:00 p.m. Holger will come back to the Brooks, AB farm country where he grew up, to rest beside his wife Mary Belle whom he cherished for fifty-two years. Forward condolences through www.mcinnisandholloway.com.
In living memory of Holger Christensen, a tree will be planted at Fish Creek Provincial Park by McINNIS & HOLLOWAY FUNERAL HOMES Fish Creek Chapel, 14441 BANNISTER ROAD S.E. Telephone: (403) 256-9575.Print This Obituary & Condolences