Shirley Mae Christenson, age 89, died peacefully in her sleep on August 15, 2016, at her home, Parkside/Brotoloc Home for intellectually disabled adults, in Ellsworth, Wisconsin, after a recent hip fracture.
Shirley Mae was born on Sept 27, 1926, in Martell Township, River Falls, Wisconsin, the youngest of four children, to Otto and Gladys (Olson) Christenson. She grew up on the family farm in Martell Township, River Falls, Wisconsin, and later lived with her parents on property near the farm, until moving to the Friendship Home in Ellsworth, Wisconsin in 1971. She was a life-long member of Rush River Lutheran Church, where she especially enjoyed singing hymns, bible study and greeting her many friends and neighbors.
Despite enduring decades of painful arthritis and fractures, Shirley was a joyful, smiling soul, who was generous with hugs and could be counted on to sprinkle conversations with humor, wit and laughter. In addition to jokes and “kidding around,” she enjoyed drawing, painting, embroidering and knitting. She was also an avid reader and animal lover, especially favoring cats and kittens.
Shirley Mae is survived by her sister-in-law Shirley A. Christenson (Harvey) of River Falls, Wisconsin; nieces and nephews: Nancy Christenson Phernetton (David) of Baldwin, Wisconsin; Dennis Christenson (Linda) of Scottsdale, Arizona; James Christenson (Susan) of Spring Valley, Wisconsin; David Christenson (Linda) of Woodruff, Wisconsin; and Susan Christenson Voelker (Thomas) of River Falls, Wisconsin; as well as great and great-great nieces and nephews.
Shirley is preceded in death by her parents Otto Christenson (1977) and Gladys (Olson) Christenson (1974); and brothers Harvey (1982), Laverne (1997) and Leslie (1923).
A celebration of life service for Shirley Mae Christenson will be held at 2 p.m. on Friday, Aug. 19, at Rush River Lutheran Church, N8623 County Rd Y, River Falls, Wisconsin. Visitation will be held at the church one hour before. Interment will follow in Rush River Lutheran Church Cemetery.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be given to the Rush River Lutheran Church Elevator Fund.
Cashman-Hill Funeral Home & Cremation Services, River Falls assisted with arrangements.