Funeral services for Arlene M. Christensen, 96, were conducted by Pastor Jud Stover on Thursday, Dec. 12, 2013, at 10:30 a.m. at the First United Methodist Church in Audubon. Interment was in the Arlington Heights Cemetery in Audubon. Casket bearers were her grandsons: Jim Grabill, Kent Grabill, Tim Wellendorf, Rob Wellendorf, Dr. Tracey Wellendorf, Steve Hansen, Scott Hansen, Brad Peppers, and Jeff Peppers. The Kessler Funeral Home in Audubon was in charge of the arrangements.
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Arlene Marie Christensen, the daughter of William and Anna (Mathisen) Blohm, was born May 24, 1917, at her parents' home southwest of Audubon, and died Dec. 9, 2013, at the Friendship Home in Audubon, at the age of 96 years, 6 months, and 15 days.
Arlene was baptized and confirmed at the First United Methodist Church in Audubon. She attended Audubon Community Schools; elementary, middle, and high school in Audubon.
On Feb. 17, 1933, she was united in marriage to Walter Marinus Hansen in Elk Point, S.D. Five children Eugene, Marilyn, a stillborn infant daughter, Janice and Nadine were born to this union. Arlene helped Walter on the Hansen family farm east of Hamlin, and later farmed in Guthrie County, where they purchased their own farm in 1942. Besides a large garden and field crops, Walt and Arlene raised hogs, cattle, sheep, horses and chickens. With encouragement from Arlene, Walt was a progressive farmer being among the first in the area to transition from farming with horses to using tractors. The polio epidemic ravaged the family leaving Janice ill and claiming the life of her husband Walt on Sept. 2. 1949. Arlene was left with one ill child and three others to care for ranging in age from 5 to 15. Arlene moved to her parents' farm west of Audubon. She sought employment to support her family working first at the candy counter in the Ben Franklin Store in Audubon for a short time and then later in 1951 was employed at the Audubon ASCS office where she worked until she retired in 1971. Arlene was always grateful for the assistance she received from her parents and her brother-in-law and wife Peter C. and Helen M. Hansen in raising her children.
On Nov. 21, 1969, Arlene married Art Christensen in Greeley, Colo. She then became the stepmother to Art's six grown children: Neil, Ron, Gary, Judi Alexander, Randy, and Lynn. Besides all of their family, Art and Arlene enjoyed traveling across the United States and Canada, to Alaska, Hawaii, New Zealand, and Australia. They enjoyed going for drives in the country and looking at the crops and livestock and attending basketball, baseball, and football games. Arlene and Art grew hybrid roses for the Jackson Perkins Nursery, recording weather and other data pertinent to successful hybrids. They also enjoyed feeding and identifying the birds that came to their backyard. Art died on June 19, 2001. Arlene enjoyed her home in Audubon and then moved to the Friendship Home in July 5, 2006.
Arlene was a lifetime member of the First United Methodist Church in Audubon. She was a member of the United Methodist Circle and served on the church circles. She was member of the Rebekah Lodge, the Garden Club, and the Audubon County Hospital Auxiliary. She also served on the Friendship Home board for many years. Arlene was faithful in service to the church and missions. She received special mission recognition in 1983. In May of 1987, Arlene was honored as Mother of the Year for the Audubon News Advocate. She was also honored to be the mentor for her great-grandson Jim's confirmation process in the same church. Arlene's interests were knitting and crocheting, quilting and other types of needlework and sewing. She also enjoyed playing bridge and other card games, and playing games with her grandkids.
Preceding her in death were her husbands: Walter M. Hansen and Arthur Christensen; an infant daughter; her son Eugene and wife Helen E. Hansen; her daughter Janice and husband Ron Wellendorf; great-grandchildren: Miranda Rasmussen, Jacob Hansen, and Jennifer Hansen; her parents William and Anna Blohm; her brother Leonard "Dutch" and wife Ramona Blohm; her sister Cecil and husband Kenneth Barentson; an infant sister Arlene Anna Blohm; her sisters-in-law Tilda and husband Merritt Root; Dorothy and husband Harry Nelson; her brothers-in-law John T. and wife Margaret L. Christensen; Peter C. and wife Helen M. Hansen; Louie Hansen; and Oscar and Versa Hansen.
Survivors include her children: Marilyn and her husband Keith Grabill of Audubon; and Nadene and her husband Russell Peppers of Prescott Valley, Ariz.; her grandchildren: Steve and Joni Hansen of Elkhorn, Neb.; Scott and Kit Hansen of Adel; Jim and Jane Grabill of Ft. Wayne, Ind.; Julie and Dirk Rasmussen; Betsy and Doug Carter; Kent and Joyce Grabill all of Audubon; Tim and Debra Wellendorf of Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.; Rob and Pam Wellendorf of Owasso, Okla.; Dr. Tracey and Jodi Wellendorf of Carroll; Brad and Ruth Peppers of Cave Creek, Ariz.; Laurie Peppers of Phoenix, Ariz.; and Jeff and Nicki Peppers of Rock Springs, Wyo.; twenty-nine great-grandchildren; and fourteen great-great grandchildren; her sister Bernice and her husband Bud Farnum of Colorado; her step-children: Neil and his wife Janelle Christensen of Minnesota; Ronald and his wife, Barbara Christensen of Audubon; Gary and his wife Janice Christensen of Audubon; Judi and her husband Dr. Roger Alexander of Colorado; Randy and his wife Elizabeth Christensen of Hawaii; Lynn and his wife Peggy Christensen of Colo.; step-grandchildren: Debra and Jack Coffman; Cynthie Washburn; Kent and Eileen Christensen; Tony and Becky Christensen; Alan and Karen Christensen; Colleen and Chris Nelson; Joni and Bryan Mehus; Wendi and David Kuehner; Gwen Christensen and Tim Nielsen; Niel, Jr., and Kirsten Christensen; Nathan and Dawn Christensen; Lynda and Jay McNamer; Stephanie and Jesse McNamer; Lori and Mark Kauffman; Dirk Christensen; Kari Christensen; Dan and Sarah Christensen; Penny and Nickolas Rhodes; Angie and Jack Coyier; Chris and Dane Ingram; Mike Alexander; Craig and Chere› Alexander; Derek Christensen; Shawn Christensen; Michelle and Craig Huber; numerous step-great-grandchildren and step great-great- grandchildren; nieces, nephews, and other relatives and friends.
Kessler Funeral Home
515 S Division St
Audubon, IA 50025
Published in AUDUBON COUNTY ADVOCATE JOURNAL from Dec. 13 to Dec. 20, 2013