Christian VikariJune 9, 1935 ~ February 21, 2013 (age 77)
Dr. Christian Vikari, 77, of Erie, PA returned to his heavenly home with his beloved wife by his side on Thursday, February 21, 2013, after a long and difficult battle with cancer. Christian was born on June 9, 1935, in Munich, Bavaria, Germany to Ludwig and Ana Krueger Vikari.
He was gifted with physical stature, a keen intellect, a compassionate heart, an abiding faith in God and an unyielding constitution. He was only a boy when World War II came to his door. And through his child’s eye, witnessed the horrors of death, destruction and devastating loss brought by the war. Yet in the midst of terrible tragedy, he triumphed. Christian turned those gifts into the tools he actively used to overcome great adversity throughout his life.
In 1945, he began his career in scouting as a scout and earned the German Eagle Scout badge and served in numerous leadership roles and positions. Scouting became a life-long passion. On the farm, he worked hard and completed every task and assignment with a vigorous exactness. He loved caring for the crops and animals. He was developed a thirst for knowledge of the natural and the divine.
Christian attended school in Munich, Bavaria Germany and excelled at all subjects, especially the sciences. At age 17, he graduated from the Technical College of Munich with professional board certification in Electrical Design Engineering.
Christian was an avid outdoor enthusiast who enjoyed ice, skating, hiking, skiing, fishing and camping in his beloved Bavarian Alps. He qualified for the German National Olympic Downhill Ski Team.
In January 1952, Christian immigrated to the United States, accompanied by his parents and his two younger sisters Helga and Ingrid, in tow. After a long and turbulent oceanic voyage, the family disembarked in New York, became citizens of the Unites States and traveled to Salt Lake City, Utah to begin again.
Christian was proud to be an American; a lover of the land of the free and a deeply passionate patriot. He believed in and championed the Constitution of the United States and studied it often. He proudly displayed the flag and deeply respected its revolutionary roots. With his new citizenship, he quickly learned the English language and enrolled at Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah to continue his already advanced knowledge and practice of electrical engineering. While at BYU, he served as Lyceum Chair from 1958-1960.
During the course of his studies, he met fate or Karma as it were. He fell in love and married his eternal companion, Karma Jean Kay in the Salt Lake City LDS Temple on September 21, 1959. Christian cherished his wife. In word and deed he honored her. Whether a beautiful card, some jewelry, or a few simple sweet nothings scribbled on a note, Karma had her "chivalrous knight". He made sure her car’s gas tank was never empty, doors were always opened for her and he insisted that others treat his beautiful bride with respect. He also loved being a father.
In 1960, Christian was awarded a scholarship and attended dental school at the University of Oregon. During that time, he enlisted in the US Army Reserve. In 1964, Christian completed dental school and earned his DMD (Doctor of Dental Medicine) and graduated Sergeant-at-Arms. He enlisted in the US Army and received his commission as First Lieutenant. To make ends meet, he used his engineering background and worked for the Bureau of Public Roads Region 9, Vancouver, WA designing, drafting freeway/road bridges. Christian worked as an Electrical Engineer for the Boeing Co.
In 1967, Christian moved his young family to Chicago, IL to complete a dental residency at Loyola University. Again, he graduated at the top of his class and earned a specialty certificate in Endodontics and a Master of Science degree in Oral Biology. Christian received new orders from the Army. The family relocated to the San Francisco Bay area where Christian began his assignment as Director of Endodontic Intern Training at Letterman General Hospital and served as Chief of the Endodontic Education Services Committee from 1969-1970. Another transfer order was received and the family moved to Washington. From 1970-1972, Christian again served as the Director of Endodontic Intern Training at Madigan General Hospital in Tacoma, WA, Preventative Dentistry Officer and Safety Officer and maintained a General/Endodontic Practice. He attained the rank of Major, earned several commendations and retired after honorably serving the country he loved.As his family grew, so did his love for them.
Christian opened his private dental/endodontic practice in Tukwila, WA in 1972. Professionally, he was doing what he loved. For 14 years, he never complained of caring for patients on or off-hours. He was exact and precise in his practice of Endodontics. He would pray that his hands would be guided and his mind directed.
He served on the staff of Valley General Hospital, on numerous committees. Between 1973-1978, he served as the Dental Department Chair. He held member faculty positions at the University of Maryland, Loyola University, University of Washington, University of Oregon, University of Heidelberg and the US Army Education Center. He is a distinguished member of numerous professional boards, societies, academies and associations. He is an accomplished and published author and technical illustrator. His professional career like his church and scouting are marked by service.
Christian was passionate about the Boy Scout program and remained active throughout his life. He held numerous leadership positions and was awarded scouting’s highest honor: The Silver Beaver. His uniforms were impeccable and he demanded exactness from those he led and served. As a leader of men, he was devoted, and brought complete and total focus to any and all activities.
As a life-long faithful member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, he faithfully served in numerous capacities including, sealer, bishop, mission president, branch president and served a full time mission to the Swiss Austrian Mission from 1956-1958.
His library was extensive and his knowledge vast. He was ever learning and ever teaching. Christian was a seeker of knowledge both of the divine and the natural. He had a deep and abiding faith in God and relied on God’s wisdom, guidance and direction. Throughout his life he bore a deep and quiet respect for the fragility and temporal nature of this world. His feelings ran deep. He was quiet, reserved and kept much close to the vest. Christian had an incredible appreciation for the Masters and their works; fine craftsmanship, music, art, literature, architecture but was not captive of or beholden to them. His huge and tender heart became untempered over the years. He was driven by the desire to err on the side of compassion. Christian was the first to answer a call. He did what he felt was right and was not interested in trendy fads nor decisions based on popularity or expediency. His decisions and actions were based on the principle of a matter and firm conviction without apology or waiver. He often read and quoted his favorite scripture:
My son, do not forget my law, but let your heart keep my commands; For length of days and long life and peace they will add to you. Let not mercy and truth forsake you; bind them around your neck, write them on the tablet of your heart, and so find favor and high esteem in the sight of God and man. Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths. Proverbs 3: 1-7
Christian Vikari was a firm foundation, a cornerstone. He made a difference and will be sorely missed and remembered with tender fondness.
He is survived by his loving wife, Karma; daughters: Heidi Ann (Jack) Ehlen, Gina Marie (James) Moore, Kathryn Kay Vikari and son Jeffrey T. Vikari; 14 grandchildren and three great-grandchildren; sister, Ingrid (Gary) Morton.
Preceded in death by parents; daughter, Heather Lyn; son, Christian Arthur.
A Memorial Service was held on Sunday February 24, 2013 in the Erie PA LDS Ward Chapel. Funeral services will be held Saturday, March 2, 2013 at 11:00 a.m. at the Springville Spring Creek 12th Ward Chapel at 235 East 550 North, Springville, Utah where friends may call from 9:30 -10:30 a.m. Burial will be at3:30 p.m. in the Annabella Utah Cemetery with military rites provided by the V. F. W. Sevier Post#5050 and the Utah Honor Guard. Funeral Directors: magleby Mortuary, Richfield, Salina and Manti.