Funeral services for Chester "Chet" Christensen, 87, were conducted by Pastor Steven Frock and Pastor Dwayne Ferguson on Monday, Feb. 1, 2016, at 10:30 a.m. at the Exira Lutheran Church in Exira. Interment was in the Hamlin Lutheran Cemetery east of Hamlin. The honorary casket bearers were Emily Blake, Tessa Randolph, Katilo Walters, Kara Christensen, Jenni Erb, Sarah Asmus, Carrie Bauer, Nicki Brown, Brittany Denker, Shelby Denker, and Haley Christensen. The casket bearers were Zeb Christensen, Zane Christensen, Seth Olesen, Jake Christensen, Clint Howard, Cole Christensen, Matt Olesen, Kade Christensen, Garrett Christensen, Austin Christensen, and Colten Christensen. The Kessler Funeral Home in Audubon was in charge of the arrangements.
Chester Virgil Christensen, the son David H. and Ethel C. (Mullenger) Christensen, was born on the family farm in Hamlin Township on Feb. 5, 1928, and died at the Audubon County Memorial Hospital on Jan. 26th, 2016, at the age of 87 years, 10 months and 26 days.
Chester grew up on the family farm, attending rural Hamlin Township schools, until high school when he started attending the Audubon Community High School where he was on the original charter for the FFA chapter with friends, Amos Asmus, Dale Henriksen, Virgil Hansen and others. After graduating from high school in 1947, Chester worked at Council Oak grocery stores, and then worked for the creamery in Audubon. In 1953, he joined Franck Brothers where he became a partner in the late 1950's. His work continued there until he left to start his own electrical business in 1965 and continued to 1973 when he started working for Franck Brothers again.
Chester married Ruth Genevieve McVicker on Jan. 7, 1950, and five children were born from this union.
Chester served as the LeRoy Township Clerk for 35 years. Chester participated in 4-H while growing up, showing blue ribbon dairy cows at the Audubon County Fair. His involvement in 4-H continued when his sons joined and he became a leader. He continued his involvement in club leadership for 45 years being inducted into the Iowa 4-H Hall of Fame in 2003. Along with 4-H, Chester and his family joined the Audubon County Saddle Club in 1968 and continued as a member, serving as president three different years, until his death. Chester and his sons also participated in the Iowa Associated Saddle Clubs, showing horses for many years. He then participated in showing horses with the Southwest Iowa Saddle Clubs. He enjoyed hosting two-day horse shows at the fairgrounds for many years. Chester was also very involved with Scouting in the area, beginning with serving as the scoutmaster for Troop 98 in Audubon, then later serving as a Patrol Dad and Explorer Post Advisor with Troop 103 and Post 103. He spoke fondly of the canoeing trip to the Boundary Waters with the scouts and taking his Troop 98 scouts to camp at Onion Pete's timber. During his years at Franck Brothers and when he operated his own business, he participated in the Audubon Chamber of Commerce.
Chester's journey in faith began at the Hamlin Lutheran Church where he was baptized and confirmed. He later joined the Audubon Methodist Church in 1946 when the family moved into Audubon and served on the church board and on varied committees.
Chester was preceded in death by his daughter Sandra Kay, and his grandson Christopher and granddaughter Alexandra; his parents, his brothers Daniel (and wife Hazel), Grant (and wife Clara), Luther (and wife Wilma), Albert (and wife Geneva), and Frank, and his sisters Mary, and Norma Ruhs (and husband Robert).
Chester is survived by his sons, David, with wife Karla, Keith, with wife Lana, Chris, with wife Kristy, and Mike, son-in-law Dennis Olesen, and 22 grandchildren and 32 great-grandchildren, his sister-in-law, Sara; his very good friends Penny LaFoy and Bob Soll; and many nieces, nephews and cousins.
Kessler Funeral Home
515 S Division St
Audubon, IA 50025
Published in AUDUBON COUNTY ADVOCATE JOURNAL from Feb. 5 to Feb. 12, 2016