DELAVAN – James A. Christianson, age 88, of Delavan passed away on Wednesday, July 20, 2016 at Aurora Lakeland Medical Center in Elkhorn. He was born on July 26, 1927 in Rice Lake, WI to Christopher and Lillian (Paradise) Christianson. Jim proudly served in the U.S. Army in Korea. He worked for Delavan-Darien School District for thirty-two years as a public school educator and business administrator before retiring in 1989. Jim was a member of the Delavan Rotary Club and the Kettle Moraine Hiking Club. He was a loving father, an avid hiker, outdoors adventurer, and world traveler.
Jim is survived by a daughter, Paula (Tony) Vidas, of Delavan; eight sons, Darryl (Judy) Christianson, of Eau Claire, Thomas (Jean) Christianson, of Delavan, Steven Christianson, of Sebring, FL, Daniel Christianson, of Boston, MA, Jan (Kim) Christianson, of Grass Valley, CA, Mark (Lisa) Christianson, of Delavan, Greg (Sherri) Christianson, of Bar Harbor, ME, and David Christianson, of Charlotte, NC; sixteen grandchildren and four great grandchildren. Jim was preceded in death by his parents; three brothers; and two sisters.
Jim was the youngest of six children born to a French Canadian mother, Lillian and Norwegian father, Chris. Although he was raised by a proper Victorian style mother, he was ahead of his time in some ways. He was comfortable in the kitchen as cook and baker and he attended births of his children in the 1950s, not at all common for that era. He was compassionate of all people regardless of race, life-style, or station in life.
He was a child of the 1929 depression while growing up in Rice Lake, Wisconsin. He learned self-discipline and how to organize while serving in the Merchant Marine and Regular Army in Korea. He was a driven perfectionist and encouraged the same from his children and his many high school students in “Industrial Arts” classes. He was a graduate of Stout State College.
Jim was an avid trail hiker for decades and made many friends in the Kettle Moraine hiking group. He was a frequent volunteer for work on hiking trail improvements. At age 76 years, he hiked with full backpack the mountains of Yosemite National Park with his nephew, Karl Mienhardt . He also hiked the mountains and glaciers of Alaska and forests of New Zealand with his son, Steven.
In his later years, Jim aspired to practice “mindfulness,” of living in the present moment. He was a strong advocate of simplifying life, but then broke that rule and got a new puppy for companionship at age 82 years old. He loved his puppy Rosie; naming the dog for his mother, whose birth name was Rosalie.
Jim loved to promote his lifestyle of healthy eating and exercise to family and friends. He was fiercely independent and greatly enjoyed driving to visit family and friends in Northern Wisconsin, with Rosie as his companion.
He had a great working knowledge of fixing things and enjoyed helping his large family with home repair and building projects. He was proud of his home in Delavan that he bought in 1957. The house was built in 1906 (the wedding date of his parents) and his work never ceased to keep it well maintained and beautiful.
Jim loved family gatherings that filled his home for holidays and birthdays. He enjoyed the boisterous fun and excitement of visiting with his large family, bringing their grandchildren and friends to his home. He tended toward the positives of the day, about loving, learning, and helping – a full and successful life.
Funeral Services will be held at 11:00 A.M. on Monday, July 25, 2016 at Monroe Funeral Home, 604 E. Walworth Ave in Delavan. Visitation will be held from 9:30 A.M. until the time of the service on Monday at the funeral home. Burial will take place at Saint Joseph Cemetery in Rice Lake, WI at 2:00 P.M. on Tuesday, July 26, 2016. MONROE FUNERAL HOME is assisting the family. Please visit us at monroefh.com