Merrill E. “Chris” Christenson passed away on Nov. 26, Thanksgiving night of heart failure.
Merrill was born Dec. 29, 1932 to Edwin and Lela (Smith) Christenson. He had an infant sister, Patricia. She and both of his parents died as a result of tuberculosis and Merrill was raised by his aunt Anna and husband Joseph Schmidt.
Merrill lived and attended schools in Salem, Ore. After school he enlisted in the USMC. He served and fought in Korea between 1950 until late 1953. He attained the grade of sergeant and was honorably discharged in 1954. Shortly before this time, he met and later married Betty Frazier in Hawthorne on Apr. 19, 1953.
Merrill and Betty worked together at Bonanza Airlines and at Naval Ammunition Depot in Hawthorne until Merrill began his career with Nevada Bell in 1956. He later transferred to Pacific Bell in Rohnert Park, Calif. until he retired in 1988 and at time they returned to Carson City.
Merrill was preceded in death by his parents Edwin (1941) and Lela (1935) and his sister Patricia (6 months of age). His wife Betty of 57 years, Anna and Joseph Schmidt and Betty’s parents Millie Hansen and Eugene Frazier and step father, Arnie Hansen.
He is survived by his son Geno (Kelly) of Montana, daughter Kathy (Jerry) of Carson City, cousins Sharon Caswell of Salem, Ore., Sandra Bright of Portland Ore. and Dottie Linville of Crescent City, Calif.
He was a member of the Telephone Pioneers and an avid bowler.
Graveside service is at 1 p.m. on Friday, Dec. 4 at the Hawthorne Cemetery with the VFW presiding. A reception will be held at the Hawthorne VFW on A Street following the service.
In lieu of flowers, family suggests contributions to Honor Flight of Nevada, Inc. to help support transportation to American veterans to Washington D.C. to visit those memorials dedicated to honor their services and sacrifices. Their address is: P.O. Box 21123, Reno, NV 89515.