Norman Spencer Christensen, age 95, passed away peacefully of old age on February 11, 2020 in Panguitch with his wife and granddaughter at his side. He was born on September 6, 1924 in Escalante, the tenth of 12 children to Lars Christen and Mary Isabell Spencer Christensen.
In 1948 on a trip to Wayne county he met Ardis Chappell. They dated for a while and then eloped to Evanston, Wyoming and were married on April 13, 1949. They thought that their world had been rocked and the skies were thrown awry, but come to find out there was a major earthquake that day and a total eclipse of the moon! They were sealed in the St. George Temple for time and all eternity on June 26, 1965. They are the parents of nine children; grandparents of 37 and 94 great-grandchildren with one more on the way and four great-great-grandchildren. His greatest joy was to be with his family and he was always so proud of every one of his posterity. He was full of advice and loved to argue and would even change sides to get a good argument.
Norm grew up in Escalante, running through and exploring the hills, playing in the creek, hunting, fishing, and having great adventures with his brothers and friends. He was a hard worker and loved working in the outdoors. He joined the U.S. Naval Service–Coast Guard in 1943 at the age of 19 and served three years during WWII in the South Pacific on the aircraft carrier Saratoga.
He loved the United States of America and the constitution. Norman was a great debater and a fierce defender of liberty and freedom for all. He was an active member of the VFW, the Lion’s Club and the Sons of Utah Pioneers. He served as a justice of the peace and supported the NRA. He also was a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, serving in many various organizations and capacities.
After being discharged from military service, Norm returned to his beloved Escalante. He worked a variety of jobs throughout the years herding sheep, working on the Glen Canyon Dam during its construction, worked for the state road department and spent 21 years working for South Central Communications from where he retired in 1989. He loved his years there and the people he worked with. He was known for pulling pranks and joking with his fellow employees. He and his "boys" also bought a cattle set up they called the Big Sage, running Charolais and mixed breed cattle for about 12 years. They also had "Christensen Quarter Horses". Norm had a good eye for horses and really enjoyed a fine horse.
Norm always grew a large garden and loved to share the produce with friends and family. He loved tomato sandwiches and made the best hot dill pickles. Pickle sandwiches became a favorite for a while. Anytime anyone came to his house they were always made welcome and if they left hungry, it was their own fault.
Norm is survived by his wife, Ardis; daughters: Jo Ellynd (Matt) Bulloch, Mary (Sam) Blauser, Julee (Arthur) Lyman, Vadas (Darwin) Green; sons: Gregg (Beth) Christensen, Clyde (Teri) Christensen, Keith (Donna) Christensen, Chris (Tammy) Christensen, Gary (Judilyn) Christensen; sister, Shiralee Pratt; sister-in-law, Velva Christensen; nephew/brother Sherrill-Tucker (Dorothy) Alvey; and numerous nieces and nephews.
Preceded in death by his parents; brothers: Mohr (Dyna) Christensen, Loynel (Geneva) Christensen, Nick (Lily) Christensen, Emmerson, Sam (Marie) Christensen, Louis (Wilma) Christensen; Howard (Thelma) Christensen, Rolin Christensen, Larry (Ruth) Christensen; sister, Julia Barnes; brother-in-law, Kenny Pratt.
As a family, we want to express our heartfelt appreciation to the staff and doctors at the Garfield Memorial Hospital—Long Term Care Center in Panguitch for the loving care that was given to our husband, dad and grandpa. Words seem inadequate to express the depth of our feelings for how wonderful the care givers were and for all that they did and the extra attention and love that was extended. Our hearts are full to overflowing....THANK YOU!
Funeral services will be held Saturday, February 22, 2020 at 11:00 a.m. in the Escalante Stake Center where friends may call from 9:30 to 10:30 a.m. Burial will be in the Escalante Cemetery with military honors. Funeral Directors: Magleby Mortuary, Richfield, Salina and Manti. Online guestbook at www.maglebymortuary.com
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