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Frederick Andrew Christensen

1929 - 2016 Obituary Condolences
Frederick Andrew Christensen Obituary
Fred Christensen
July 14, 1929 ~ August 9, 2016
Frederick Andrew Christensen of Sunny Slope, Idaho, slipped quietly into the undiscovered country on August 9, 2016, succumbing to congestive heart failure. The proud son of Iowa's Danish immigrant community, Fred was born to Elmer and Stella Mae Christensen on July 14, 1929, and raised on a farm in Shelby County. Farm life in the depths of the Great Depression gave Fred a life-long empathy for the poor and downtrodden and also marked him as a committed conservationist and a passionate sportsman.
Fred graduated from Harlan (Iowa) High School in 1947 and earned a Bachelor's Degree in Engineering from Iowa State College in 1951. While working on an oil exploration crew in Central California, Fred met the love of his life, Dottie. Fred and Dorothy (Koebel) entered into a marriage on April 12, 1953, that was to last for 63 years.
After serving two years in the U.S. Army, Fred and Dottie lived on the Hoopa Indian Reservation in Northern California and then at South Lake Tahoe, while Fred pursued a career with California Liquid Gas Co. In 1967, Fred and Dottie moved to Nampa, Idaho, where Fred found his life's work, becoming owner and CEO of Graybill Wholesale Co.  In Idaho, Fred and his family spent many happy days hiking or backpacking deep in the backcountry, fishing Idaho's bountiful trout streams, cross-country skiing with friends, and hunting for Idaho's astounding variety of small game.
In Nampa, Fred became a pillar of the community.  As a proud Rotarian for more than 50 years, Fred led the Nampa Rotary's efforts to save the City's beautiful Union Pacific passenger depot, which now houses the Canyon County Historical Museum. As a co-founder of the Idaho Conservation League, President of the Idaho Wildlife Federation, President of the Nampa Rod & Gun Club, and Lifetime Member of the Boise Valley Fly Fishers, Fred helped improve wildlife habitat across the state and promoted conservation policies that often succeeded despite a hostile legislature. Fred also served as an Elder and Deacon of the Nampa Presbyterian Church, where he was a member for nearly five decades. He and Dottie also supported many local cultural institutions, including the Idaho Shakespeare Festival, for which they have held season subscriptions since the Festival was founded in 1977. 
In 1978, Gov. John Evans appointed Fred to the Idaho Fish & Game Commission, where he served the people of Idaho with distinction for eleven years. During his tenure, IDFG achieved many milestones, including the opening of the Sawtooth Hatchery, which has succeeded against all odds in saving the Snake River Sockeye salmon, Idaho's famous "Redfish."
In 1990, Fred retired from Graybill Wholesale Company, and Fred and Dottie moved to their retirement home on the Snake River. There, Fred pursued his passion for gardening, and he and Dottie made regular sojourns to Boise to enjoy Shakespeare Festival productions and to attend Boise Hawks games.   Fred also founded and served as President of the Canyon Sunrise Rotary Club, where he always proudly wore the pin marking him as a Paul Harris Fellow. Fred also continued to serve his community, working as a volunteer lobbyist in Boise for the Idaho Wildlife Federation and serving on the board of Citizens Against Poaching for many years. Fred also served as chairman of the Canyon County Democrats and continued to be actively involved in politics. As dedicated members of the Treasure Valley Wine Society, Fred and Dottie watched like anxious parents as Idaho's wine industry grew from its infancy into a world-class producer of fine wines. Fred was proud to include many of Idaho's best vintners among his circle of friends. 
Fred was a successful businessman and dedicated and effective community volunteer. More importantly, he was devoted to his family and to his network of friends, many of whom remained close to for decades.  At this time, the family is particularly grateful for their warm support.  
Fred is survived by Dottie, his wife of 63 years. He is also survived by son Eric and daughter-in-law Betsy, and grandchildren Grace and Carl Frederick, all of Bothell, Washington, and by son Marc and daughter-in-law Amy of Landrum, South Carolina. He is also survived by his sister, Mildred Wilcox (Richard) of Cherry Hill, New Jersey, and many nieces, nephews, and other beloved relatives and a large circle of friends.  
A memorial service will be held for Fred on August 18 at 4:00 p.m. at the First United Presbyterian Church, 400 Lake Lowell Avenue, Nampa. Fred's ashes will be committed to the Snake River during a reception at the Sunny Slope house, 20805 Lowell Road, on August 19 at 3 p.m. In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations in Fred's name to the Idaho Wildlife Federation (http://www.idahowildlife.org/), the Rotary Foundation (https://www.rotary.org/myrotary/en/rotary-foundation), or the Canyon County Historical Society.
Published in Idaho Statesman on Aug. 12, 2016
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