Marin William "Bill" Christensen
Bill passed into God's hands on January 27, 2017 in Colorado Springs, Colorado surrounded by his wife, Beverly; daughter, Lori; son-in-law, Roger; grandson, Michael; and grandson-in-law, Michael Paris.
Bill was born on November 30, 1933 on the family farm in Lindsay, Nebraska to Oscar and Charlotte Christensen. In 1938, the family moved to Geneseo, Illinois. Bill graduated from Geneseo High School in 1951. During his school years, he was employed on several jobs, including construction and sandblasting projects.
Bill had an adventurous spirit and lived life on his terms. He was a brakeman in the railroad yards in East Moline, Illinois at the age of 18 and later joined the Army. For two years, he was a trainer of pacers and trotters working at Chicago area race tracks, primarily at Sportsman's Park. In subsequent years, he was a postman in Geneseo, where he met his wife of fifty-nine years, Beverly, and then went on to serve on the Geneseo Police force. In 1957, Bill became a member of Stewart Lodge No. 92 in Illinois and was a Master Mason for almost sixty years.
While in the Army, Bill became interested in flying through a buddy on base whose family had extensive ranch holdings in Western Nebraska. On weekends, Bill earned his private pilot's license. He also obtained his multi-engine rating, which he was never able to use. He bought a 1947 Piper C3 from his buddy's father for $750, and after his transfer to Fort Knox, would fly home on the weekends when he had leave and land in a field east of town. He navigated using a compass and following highways and rivers as the plane had no other navigational aids.
Bill later developed an interest in an insurance career. Through his typical diligent efforts, competing against college graduates and lawyers, he secured a position as an insurance adjuster for Bituminous Casualty in Davenport, Iowa. Later, he became an adjuster for Western Casualty and moved to Colorado Springs. During this time, he studied to become a CPCU and scored #1 in his class. He was recognized for this achievement at a National Convention in San Francisco. He joined USAA in 1986 and was in management until his retirement in 1994.
After thirty-four years in Colorado Springs, Bill and Bev bought a home on an acreage in Peyton, Colorado. They enjoyed their horses and gardening in the rural setting. During his Colorado years he was continually active with his construction skills and in developing his property near Woodland Park. Bill was a longtime member of Stewart Lodge No. 92 AF&AM in Geneseo, Illinois. Through their time in Colorado, Bill and Bev shared a passion for square dancing and made many friends.
Bill was preceded in death by his parents, and sons, Kenneth and John.
He is survived by his wife, Beverly; daughter, Lori (Roger); grandchildren, Michael, Holly (Ted), and Kristina (Michael); and great-grandson, Eli Paris. He is also survived by brother, Dean (Judy) of Columbus, Ohio; sister, Lora Tremayne (Bill) of Somerset, New Jersey; and brother, Gary (Linda) of Eugene, Oregon.
A special word of thanks to his friends, Clark and Sherm for their many visits to the hospital, Michael Paris for his daily prayer sessions with Bill, the staff at The Center at Cordera, and the wonderful people with Abode Hospice of Colorado.
A Memorial Service will be held at a later date in Geneseo, Illinois.
Memorials may be made in Bill's memory to the Mesothelioma Applied Research Foundation, Springs Rescue Mission, or a charity of choice .
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