DELAVAN - Clare Myron Christensen, 91, of Delavan passed away on Saturday, March 28, 2020, at his home, supported by his children.
He was born the 12th of August, 1928, in Dwight, IL, to Christ Ingvald and Myrtle Tofte Christensen. He lived in Gardner, IL, before moving to Delavan in the fall of 1938.
Clare served with the Unit Headquarters & Headquarters Company, 2nd Battalion, 123rd Infantry Regiment, 44th Division of the Illinois National Guard from 1948-1953 as an Intelligence Analyst and was deployed to Korea. He returned home and married Marlene Denman Christensen on November 1, 1953. Marlene passed away on January 6, 2014.
He was also preceded in death by his parents, his brother and sister-in-law, Loyal T. and Rosemary Christensen; and his granddaughter, Abbey Christensen.
Clare is survived by his three children, Christine A. Christensen of Pekin, Martin A. Christensen and Linda D. Christensen of Delavan; grandchildren, Matthew Perry (Lyndsey Duncan) of Champaign, Andrew Clare Christensen (Dr. Brittany Pham, DMD) of Peoria and Tara (Curt) Burrell of Mackinaw; great-grandson, Noah Burrell; brother-in-law and sister-in-law, Charles N. and Sandra Denman; and nieces, Tammy (Kevin) Hill, Trudy (Chris) Schaffner, Leisa (Mark) Plumb and Arden Libby. He is blessed by extended family, DeeDee Satterfield and Braylin Satterfield (Zander) Curry and their children, Noah, Kana and Miles.
Clare attended Delavan Schools and graduated from Delavan High School in 1946. He did carpentry work for Ray H. Lillibridge and Ray J. Lilibridge until taking over the business of Albert (Tex) Meins in 1958. During his career, he built over 80 homes and businesses in the Delavan area, including the remodel of the Delavan UMC Sanctuary and installation of the Rose Window, during the mid-1960s. He, along with several local businessmen, was an original developer of Heritage Estates Subdivision. He continued in business until 1986, when he became an adjuster for Delavan Mutual Insurance. He was elected as the Multi-Township Tax Assessor for Delavan, Dillon, Sand Prairie and Malone Townships, serving in that capacity until retiring December 31, 2013, at the age of 85.
He was a 32-year member of the Delavan Fire Department as firefighter and board member and he served on the Delavan Ambulance Service as an EMT. He was a Lifetime Member of the Delavan Community Historical Society and member of the Delavan United Methodist Church. He was a past Commander of the Delavan-Green Valley American Legion Post #382, serving as Chaplain for many years and coordinator of the annual Memorial Day Program. His extremely technical Legion Breakfast position of toaster gave him bragging rights. Meeting every morning from 8 to 9 a.m. for coffee at the Legion with his friends was top on his list of priorities.
Clare was extremely proud of his Norwegian heritage, discovering his DNA showed 81% Norwegian, 17% Swedish and 2% Irish and Scottish. (His Grandfather always told him that those Vikings really got around). All four of his Grandparents came to the U.S. from Norway. Celebrating with his Granger-Christensen cousins at an annual reunion was another highlight for him.
Clare was always proud of his garden and enjoyed sharing his harvest with the community. He was proud of Martin's State Fair winning "Tall Corn."
Having his 90th birthday party, hosting hundreds of friends and family, made him extremely happy. 2019 was a busy year as he received a "Quilt of Valor." was Co-Recipient of Tazewell County Veteran of the Year, portrayed Dr. Firth for the Delavan Historical Society Cemetery Walk and, along with Martin, went on the Greater Peoria Honor Flight.
The family is grateful to his friends/Legion Family for their caring and support, to Dr. Matt, his staff at Delavan HMC, and staff at HMC ER & Hospital, and Pastor Charlie and friends at Delavan UMC.
Because of the current health situation, a private family burial with military rites will be held at Prairie Rest Cemetery. A celebration will be scheduled for a later date. The service will be live-streamed on the Davis-Oswald Funeral Home Facebook page at 10 a.m. Wednesday, April 1, 2020, and will be available on their website for later viewing.
Memorials can be made to Delavan-Green Valley American Legion Post #382, 118 E. Third St., Delavan, IL 61734; or Delavan UMC, 417 Locust St., Delavan IL 61734.
Published by Peoria Journal Star from Mar. 29 to Mar. 31, 2020.