Hazel Christenson, 93, Albert Lea

Published 9:46 am Friday, April 15, 2011

Funeral service for Hazel J. Christenson will be at 10 a.m. Monday at Bonnerup Funeral Service Chapel, Albert Lea. Visitation will be one hour before service at the chapel. Captain James Brickson and the Rev. Kent Otterman will officiate.


Hazel died Wednesday, April 13, 2011, at Good Samaritan Society, Albert Lea. She was 93 years old.

Hazel Julia Sward was born Nov. 3, 1917, in Ida Grove, Iowa, one of 11 children of John and Anna Sward. As a young child, Hazel came to the Clarks Grove area and she was raised by her grandmother and her two uncles. When she was 16 she met her husband, Raymond M. Christenson, at the Freeborn County Fair. They were united in marriage on June 6, 1935, at the Clarks Grove Baptist Church Parish. They lived in Freeborn County their 56 years of married life.

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They raised 13 children together and lived on the north shore of Bear Lake when the children were growing up. Hazel also worked outside the home as a cook in many restaurants in Albert Lea and was one of the first cooks when St. John’s Lutheran Home was built. She obtained a diploma from taking a course in restaurant preparation. Hazel was a member of the Golden Rule Mission Circle of the Community Lutheran Church in Geneva. She was an Gold Star Mother and a life member of the VFW Ladies Auxiliary Post 7920 in Osage, Iowa.

Hazel loved fishing of all kinds and had a green thumb with flowers. She loved country music as well as old time polka and waltz. One of her greatest joys was when Fred and Claudia hired Big Ben and the Bryans to perform at her 90th birthday party when she danced with many of family members and friends.

Hazel loved Party Line with Darrell on KATE Radio and the program on Sunday afternoon with old time music. Hazel was a wonderful cook and baker, especially buttermilk pancakes, donuts and huge cinnamon rolls.

Hazel is survived by 11 children; eight sons: Palmer (Kayla) Christenson of Thompson, Iowa, Robert (Marion) Christenson of Twin Lakes, Willard (JoAnne) Christenson of Montgomery, Fred (Claudia) Christenson of Clarks Grove, David (Sherri) Christenson of Clarks Grove, Philip (Judy) Christenson of Bellvue, Neb., Victor Christenson and special friend, Monica, of Clarks Grove, and Jon (Deborah) Christenson of Osage, Iowa; three daughters: Marjorie Solberg of Emmetsburg, Iowa, Rose (Carl) Glienke of Blooming Prairie, and Nancy Walterman of Clarks Grove; 77 grandchildren, great-grandchildren and great-great-children total; one brother, Roger (Joyce) Sward, of Clarks Grove; sisters: Clara White of Wisconsin, Doris Clark of Florida and Phylis Lipowski of Albert Lea; and numerous nieces and nephews.

Preceded in death by her husband Ray Sr., sons: Raymond Jr. and Steven; her parents; four brothers, one sister; four grandchildren; and one great-grandchild.

Hazel was a unique mother, grandmother, sister and friend and will be greatly missed. Blessed be her memory.