Claudia Christenson

Published 10:17 am Tuesday, March 26, 2024

Surrounded by her adoring family, Claudia Louise (McCullough) Christenson, 78, of Clarks Grove, passed away peacefully on Friday, March 22, 2024 at St. Mary’s Hospital in Rochester due to heart-related complications.

Claudia Christenson

Claudia, also known as Punky, Punk, Claud, Gramma and Gigi, was born on January 29, 1946 to Claude and Marian (Espe) McCullough. Born on a cold but sunny day, Punky strived to bring sunshine and warmth into the lives of others. The eldest of five children, she grew up helping with her younger siblings and babysitting her cousins. In adulthood, they would often call on her for advice or a helping hand; she was a mother (and Godmother) to many! In her youth, Punky had fond memories of going to Uncle Al and Aunt Velma’s cabin. She enjoyed camping throughout her life and loved being outside and soaking up the sunshine! Her love for animals lasted a lifetime. She once had a pet skunk, and a pet raccoon that turned on the faucet and flooded the kitchen! She would stop her car to help a turtle cross the street or say a prayer for a deceased animal along the roadway. She had compassion for and nurtured all animals. If you had a sick cat, call Punk. If she couldn’t nurse it back to health, she would take it to the vet (where they knew her well).

Claudia was united in marriage to Wilfred Christenson in Northwood Iowa on April 3, 1965. Two years later, they welcomed their daughter Paula.

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Claudia worked at Land O Lakes in the 1960s, and at the Good Samaritan Center in Albert Lea as a CNA for 38 years. She was dedicated and loyal, driving through snowstorms or staying overnight onsite, so as never to miss her shift. It was more than a job; she loved the residents like family. She will be remembered for her kindness and patience (which once got her in trouble for spending too much time with a resident!).

Claudia loved to visit family and friends. She needed no invitation; just a cup of coffee, a smile, and a good story. Claudia will be remembered as, “The Sunshine on a Rainy Day.” Two of her favorite sayings were: “It’s fine,” and “It’s okay.” She listened without judgement and put others needs before her own. She was a loyal and supportive mother and grandmother, helping raise her grandsons and spending as much time with her great-grandchildren as she could. Two years ago, she was blessed to reconnect with her son Jim that she gave up for adoption as a teenager. The reunion with Jim and his family brought her great joy.

Left to carry on her sunshine is her husband of just short of 59 years, Wilfred Daughter Paula (Jessie) Hanson and son Jim (Jodi) Danielsen. Grandchildren, Dylan (Kelli), Nickolas (Jasmine), Brody (Morgan), Annika (Marcus), Katie (Brian), Courtney (Josh), Chase (Cindy), and Brett. Great-grandchildren: Haven, Cameron, Dyna, Cooper, Charlee, Axl, and soon-to-be Willow; also, Maggie, Riina, Brooklyn, Brock, Ivy, Gannon, Hattie, Crew, Evan, Dawson, Emmalou, Ty, Maverick, Ella, Clay, and Taelyn. Sister Sheila (Mark) Jensen and brother Jim McCullough, along with many cousins, Special nieces and nephews. Also survived by the Christenson family. She was preceded in death by her parents brother Buck sister Sue sister-in-law Deb McCullough and her aunts and uncles Marvin, Trena, Marlys, Leroy, Al, Velma, Mervin, and Bev. Also many Christenson relatives

A celebration of life will take place on Saturday, March 30, 2024 at the Edgewater Bay Pavilion (off of highway 13 west entrance) in Albert Lea Mn from 4 to 6 p.m. with Pastor Eileen Woyen presiding at 430 Please join us in commemorating a beautiful, sweet lady. Have a meal and share a story or two.