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Todd Jay Christensen

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Todd Jay Christensen Obituary
1956 ~ 2013
Our loving husband, father, and grandfather Todd Jay Christensen passed away November 13, 2013 as a result of complications during surgery. His surviving family and friends are saddened by his sudden passing, yet recognize gratefully the wonderful legacy he leaves behind in the form of his posterity and in the example of his life.
Todd was born August 3, 1956 in Pennsylvania, the second son of Ned and June Christensen. Early in his childhood the family moved to Eugene, Oregon, where Todd's father Ned was a University of Oregon professor. From an early age Todd had a strong interest in athletics, excelling in track and field, baseball, basketball, and football. Football was destined to become his meal ticket. He played fullback at Brigham Young University and was later drafted into the NFL with the Dallas Cowboys. After a few years of struggling in the league, he found his niche with the Oakland Raiders, where he became an all-pro pass-catching tight end, leading the league in receiving twice and winning two super bowl championships. Even before his playing career was done, his unique verbal skill was recognized, and he transitioned easily from the playing field to the broadcast booth, working as a broadcaster for NBC, ESPN, the MTN Network, and most recently, CBS Sports. He also had a short but memorable stint as a moderator for the television program, 'American Gladiators.'
Todd recognized how fortunate he was that so many of his childhood dreams had come true, but professional success, however rewarding, did not distract him from what he considered his true priorities: his family and his faith. He married Kathleen Simmons Christensen, the love of his life, in the Salt Lake Temple, November 28, 1977. They had four sons; Toby, Tory, Trevor, and Teren. Todd was guided and sustained by his faith and endeavored to rear his family according to those principles.
In every arena of his life, Todd sought earnestly for self-improvement because of his love and understanding of the Plan of Salvation and the Gospel of Jesus Christ. As much gratification as he received from training his body to peak efficiency, he took greater pleasure in pursuits of the mind, rarely leaving the house without his journal, scriptures and books he was reading.
Todd was not a man without failings, but he possessed the redeeming quality of persistence, the desire to be better today than he was yesterday. Perhaps his best quality, however, was his generosity and focus on helping other people. His influence was felt in his family, church and in his community, and he will be sorely missed.
Funeral services will be held on Saturday, November 16, 2013 at 1:00 pm in the Alpine North LDS Stake Center Chapel, 1125 East Alpine Boulevard, Alpine, Utah. Family and friends may call Friday evening from 6:00-8:00 pm at the Alpine North Stake Center Chapel, and Saturday from 11:30-12:30 pm prior to services at the church. Interment, Alpine City Cemetery. Condolences may be sent to the family at www.warenski.com
Published in Deseret News on Nov. 15, 2013
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