Robert Rolf Christensen

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Bob, affectionately known as Chris, passed away September 6 at Serenity House surrounded by family. He died peacefully after a courageously long and tenacious journey with Parkinson's Disease.

Bob was born in Waukegan, Illinois. He joined the Navy at 17 where he met life-long friend Chuck Staufenberg in submarine school. After their Navy discharge, they spent 2 years on Guam as radio technicians. Bob attended Northwestern University studying mathematics and graduated Phi Beta Kappa. While in graduate school, Bob met Thelma Jane (T.J.) Ladd. They married June 13, 1953 and moved to California where Bob began his professional life in the aerospace industry - at Northrop, Litton, TRW, and GM's AC Electronics. In 1967, Bob was transferred to Delco Electronics in Santa Barbara as a computer engineer and proposal manager for business development, retiring in 1989. Bob's interest in Turkey and the Middle East was enhanced by the opportunity he had to teach calculus at Robert College in Istanbul from 1977-79.

Bob was a loving and much-loved husband, father, grandfather, and great grandfather. He and T.J. gratefully shared 60 years of marriage and life together, providing a loving example to their children: Cathy (Doug Pound), Eric (Monica), Karen (Michael Sloan) and Susan (Rod Caughell). Bob adored his grandchildren, cherishing time with them and sharing in their activities: Jeff (Jenna), Michael, Brian and Nathan Pound; Karl Christensen; Madalyn Sloan; Allison (Arthur Van Leuven), Chad (Tulsi), Melissa, and Heather Caughell. A special joy was to be great-grandpa to Jackson Pound and Beckett Van Leuven. Bob was predeceased by his brother, Donald, and grandson Brian Pound.

His family will forever cherish loving memories of Bob. A private graveside service will be held at a later date. Remembrances may be made to the Parkinson Association of Santa Barbara and Visiting Nurse and Hospice Care. Special thanks to: Dr. Roger Dunham, Dr. Mark Corazza and Dr. Vickie Wait for their many years of compassionate care; the staff at GVCH and Serenity House for their excellent care; and appreciation to staff and friends at Maravilla.

Published in The Santa Barbara News-Press Online Edition from Sept. 22 to Sept. 26, 2013
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