ESTHERVILLE - Funeral services for Norman Clifford Christensen, 90, of Estherville will be held at 10:30 a.m. Saturday, March 8, 2014, at Trinity Lutheran Church in Estherville with Pastor Paul Wiegman officiating. Visitation will be from 5-7 p.m. Friday at Henry-Olson Funeral Chapel in Estherville. Interment will be held at East Side Memorial Cemetery in Estherville with military rites by VFW Post 3388 and American Legion Post 91 of Estherville.
He died Monday, March 3, 2014, at the Estherville Good Samaritan Society.
Norman Clifford Christensen, the youngest child of C.P. and Mary (Pahus) Christensen, was born on June 11, 1923, on a farm by Gruver.
Norman grew up on a farm near Halfa. He attended school through the seventh grade, dropping out to farm. At that time his family moved to the home place where he resided until 2008. Norman aspired to become an auctioneer but those plans were changed by World War II. In 1943 he enlisted in the U.S. Army. Norman became a sergeant and served for three years in the Pacific Theatre. He spent 18 months in New Guinea and 10 months in the Philippines. He spoke little of his WWII years, but one story that was well told was about the time he was chased by head hunters. Sometime after he was Honorably Discharged in 1946 he was dining at an Estherville restaurant. This restaurant had a small dance floor and on a whim he grabbed an older lady and pulled her out on the dance floor. They shared a dance and a good laugh afterwards. Months later Norman found out that he had danced with his future mother-in-law Alice. Norman frequented a feed store where Doris was the bookkeeper. One day he came in for business and after he left Doris asked another man who Norman was. The man replied, "you ought to know him" and she replied "yes, I ought to know him". On Thursday, July 31, 1947, Norman married Doris Natterstad. They engaged in farming until he retired in 1992. Norman and Doris spent their free time playing BINGO and going to casinos. While Doris was at the slots, Norman could be found at the black jack table. For 30 years Norman called numbers for VFW BINGO. He was always a great story teller and could tell any joke with the ease of a stand-up comedian. He had even convinced his grandkids that he had played basketball for the Harlem Globetrotters. Norman kept in contact with as many of his fellow soldiers as he could from the war by writing letters and making phone calls. His closest friend from the Army was a man by the name of Bus. Bus was one of the few Iowans Norman had met. While getting acquainted he learned Bus was from Sioux City and delivered fruit to stores. Bus told Norman the only person he had known from Estherville was a man named C.P. Christensen, Norman's dad. Bus died in 1978 but Norman talked about him often. Norman and Doris made the move from the country into town in October 2008. Their biggest fear was that they would hate "town living" but they were surprised by how much they enjoyed their neighbors. Their home quickly became a meeting point for old friends and new to drop by for coffee, one of Doris's homemade desserts and a story or two.
He was a member of the Immanuel Evangelical Lutheran Church south of Gruver and a lifetime member of VFW Post #3388.
Norman is survived by his wife of over 66 years, Doris; his two daughters, Norma Guge and her husband, Mark, of Estherville, and Marj Curry of rural Ringsted; his four grandchildren, Alene Curry and her friend Ron Smith, Chris Curry and his wife Bobbi Jo, Sara More and her husband Mark, and Erin Guge, all of Estherville; six great-grandchildren, Riley, Trevor and Bryelle Curry, Madison and Logan More, and Camden McKenney, all of Estherville; six foreign exchange grandkids, JunSun, Cyrill, Daci, Jay, Doris and Dorde; his brother Russell Christensen and his wife, Dorothy, of Belvidere, Ill.; his sister, Geneva Olson, of Fairmont, Minn.; brother-in-law, John Natterstad, and his wife, Martha, of Estherville; sister-in-law, Lois Sunde, of Estherville; his & Doris' two cats, Puff and Blue; nieces, nephews and too many friends to name. He is preceded in death by his parents, sister Elnora, in-laws Ole and Alice Natterstad, brother-in-law Archie Sunde, sister-in-law Joyce Weaver, brother-in-law Jack Weaver and son-in-law Tom Curry. Online condolences may be sent to www.henryolsonfuneral.com