Thomas "Tom" O. Christiansen went to be with the good Lord on Aug. 17, 2013, surrounded by his loving family, wife Suzanne; daughters Teresa, Vanessa, and best friend Bill in Anchorage. He was 75.
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Memorial services will be held 3 p.m. Sept. 8, 2013, at the Anchor Park United Methodist Church, 2300 Oak Dr., in Anchorage. Pastor Doug Handlong will officiate. A gathering will follow the services at 6 p.m. at the Panhandle Bar, 312 West Fourth Ave. in Anchorage.
Tom was born Dec. 17, 1937 to Haaken and Mary (Nelson) Christiansen in Anchorage. Tom's father was the first police chief of Anchorage and his mother was a stenographer for the court system. He graduated from West High School in 1957. Tom soon joined the steam fitters and pipe fitters, Local 367, meeting his best friends of over 50 years William "Bill" Warren and Otto Eugene Shaffer where they worked on the Alaska Pipeline. Tom also worked construction in the summer and tended bar in the winter. Some say that he was the best bartender in the world. He loved talking to the tourists and would tell them as much history of Anchorage as possible. Tom remembered when Anchorage was a block long. In construction they called him "Blood, Sweat, and Tears" because he put his all into whatever he was assigned to. This belief also applied in his marriage. Tom met and married Suzanne Kahklen in 1978 and they just celebrated 35 years of marriage on May 19, 2013.
"Tom was a great man, wonderful father, and a dedicated friend. A lot of people prayed for him and he will be greatly missed. Lots of Love, Always," the family wrote.
Tom was preceded in death by his parents Haaken and Mary Christiansen; brother Arnie Christiansen; in-laws Sue and Dan Kahklen; sister-in-law Karen Kahklen; brother-in-law Butch Kahklen; sister-in-law Linda Morris; and granddaughter Samantha Koenig.
He is survived by his wife, Suzanne; daughters, Vanessa (Isaac) Rodman, and Teresa and former spouse, Michael Oppegaard; two daughters from his first wife, Karen and Darlene; stepdaughter, Shirley; grandchildren, James, Sierra, and Liberty Rodman, Seth and Michelle Oppegaard; nephews and neice, Darby and Christopher Christiansen, Crystal Christiansen and their mother Lori; sisters in-law, Lillian (Rod) Arnett, Janice Kahklen, and Dani (Grant) Sousuk; extended family, James Koenig; and many other nieces and nephews.
Arrangements were made for by the Anchorage Funeral Home. Please visit Tom's obituary and online guestbook at www.AlaskanFuneral.com
Anchorage Funeral Home & Crematory
1800 Dare Ave. Anchorage, AK 99515
Published in The Peninsula Clarion on Sept. 4, 2013