Christensen, Doris "Dory" Bahls April 3, 1917 - October 29, 2013 Doris Grace Bahls Christensen, 96, died Oct. 29, 2013, at Northern Lights Health Care Center in Washburn, Wis- consin, on the south shore of Lake Superior. She was born on a farm April 3, 1917 in rural Woodbury, Minn. When she was four years old, her family moved to the Village of Cottage Grove, Minn., where her dad bought the Country Store. Growing up days were spent in that store. At first the family lived in a series of rooms along one side of the store. Later they built a house next door so all of the family could be called upon to lend a helping hand when needed. Doris attended a one-room country school. One teacher was responsible for all eight grades. She graduated from Stillwater High School, attended the University of Wisconsin, Stout , in Menomonie, and the University of Minnesota and graduated from Ancker Hospital School of Nursing. She served as a nursing supervisor in both the Contagion and Pediatrics Departments at St. Luke's Hospital, Duluth, Minn. She was married to Dr. Clarence H. "Chris" Christensen on January 24, 1942. They moved around the country while Chris served in the Navy during WWII. They returned to Duluth in 1946 when Dr. Christensen joined Dr. P.S. Rudie in general practice of medicine, where he worked for 40 years. While raising her large family, Dory's community interests were those programs involving children of all ages. She was a Cub Scout den mother for many years and later worked with AFS. Her family was privileged to share their home with a number of young people across the years. This international extension of what she considered her family was the catalyst for years of involvement with the World Affairs Council and the United Nations Association. It also inspired her to read about people and places around the world. Chris and Dory moved to Washburn, Wisconsin in 2002 to be near family. Here they found many treasures: a shady back yard constantly filled with a parade of birds across the seasons, friendly neighbors, and so many interesting things to do close to home. Dory used a life-long skill to say "thank you" to the many people who brightened her life. She started to knit special hats and was able to surprise the people who crossed her path with different color combinations of what became known as the "Dory Hat". Doris is survived by her six children: five sons, Kenner (Kimberly) of Washburn, Wisc., Donnan (Ann) of Washburn, Wisc., Odin (Phyllis) of Mancos, Colo., Anders (Christine) of Minneapolis, Minn., Tore (Janet) of Boulder Colo., and one daughter, Kristen (Roberto de Souza) of Washburn; nine grandchildren; eight step grandchildren, and three great grandchildren. She was preceded in death by her parents Ben and Laura (Olstad) Bahls, her brother Donald Bahls and sister Eleanor (Bahls) Murphy, and her husband of 65 years, Dr. Clarence H. Christensen. To her family and her friends, Dory leaves this thought by Baily Good from Sojourners Magazine: "I preach my own funeral every day of my life. A man or woman's life ought to be his funeral sermon. Onc't you're gone nothing that's said can do a bit of good". The family wishes to thank the staff of Northern Lights Nursing Home and The Oaks Assisted Living Facility for their kind care and support during Doris' stay. In lieu of flowers, memorial gifts may be sent to the Dory Christensen Memorial Fund at Bremer Bank, Washburn. Two memorial gatherings will be held, the first will take place on Saturday, Nov. 23, at 3 p.m. at The Cremation Society Chapel, Duluth and the second will take place on Sunday, Nov. 24 at 3 p.m. at the Humble Be, Washburn, WI.
This obituary was originally published in the Star Tribune.