Merna Vivian Christenson

Published 4:55 pm Monday, November 1, 2021

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Our Beloved Matriarch, Merna Vivian Christenson, gained her wings on Sunday October 31, 2021. Merna was born December 22, 1938 in Austin, MN to Francis Thompson and Vivian Palmer. She was 7th in a line of 11 children. When she was young her family moved to Glenville where they were raised.

Merna Vivian Christenson

Merna married Dale R. Christenson in 1955 along with two children, Marsha and Mark, from his previous marriage. To this union of Merna and Dale, 3 sons were born; Nathan, Anthony, and Dale.

Throughout her life she maintained a love for her Lord and her family who will miss her beyond measure. She drove truck with her best friend Lana Hajek, for many years traveling the United States. She took her grandchildren at the time to see Disney World. They were just as excited as she was to experience these trips. She was a bartender, waitress, cook and baker throughout her life. She was often referred to as the “cookie lady” by many, she had a knack for her cookies as they were a favorite to so many. If you had the chance to taste them you could never get enough. Merna was also famous for her potato salad which accompanied her to every get together. When asked how she made her cookies and her famous potato salad, she would say “It is so easy, I do this and this and it just turns out”. We all knew it was the love she put into them that cannot be replicated. She loved family get togethers playing penny ante poker, coffee clutching and enjoying meals that would feed an army. ln her later years she enjoyed playing hand and foot with her friends, Pam, Lana, Shirley, Jackie and anyone who wanted to join every Thursday at her apartment.

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An avid bowler, she spent many years with her team traveling to bowling tournaments. She enjoyed these events and the friendships she still has today. She enjoyed doing crosswords puzzles, reading, watching Jeopardy and Wheel of Fortune each evening, usually beating all the contestants. Her grandson Jacob would ask how she knew all the answers and she would remark “sometimes you don’t even realize what you know until the question is asked”. Merna was as strong as they come and could be counted on to be there every time you needed her. Merna was an excellent conversationalist with a jovial personality that she shared up to her final days.

Merna is survived by her children Marsha (Dick) Hansen, Mark (Jeanne) Christenson, Nathan Christenson, Anthony Christenson, and Dale (Kimberly) Christenson, 10 grandchildren, 8 great grandchildren, and 4 great great grandchildren and 2 great great great grandchildren. She is also survived by her sisters Carole Hanson and Sandy Jacobson and brother Raymond Thompson, many nieces, nephews, cousins and friends, all whom loved her dearly.

Merna was preceded in death by her parents, siblings Phyliss, James, Wilson, Paul (Skippy), Francine, Linda and baby sister Mary Faye. Her grandsons Chad Hansen and Spencer Christenson.

ln honor of her wishes Merna’s Celebration of Life will be held at 3PM on Sunday (11/7) at Bayview Freeborn Funeral Home, 1415 Hwy 13N Albert Lea, MN. Rev. Matt Hundley will officiate. Visitation will be 1 hour prior to the service. The service will be livestreamed via Bayview Freeborn Funeral Home’s website. Online condolences are welcome at

The family would like to thank Ecumen Hospice for their loving care so that she could live out her days at her son Dale’s home. We would also like to thank everyone for their thoughts, prayers and visits that meant so much to her. We would also like to give a special thank you to Pastor Matt Hundley for giving her final communion.

Thank you Lord for borrowing us your angel, and thank you for wrapping her in your loving arms for her journey back home to you!