• Date Of Birth: January 13, 1938
  • Date Of Death: May 27, 2016
  • State: Montana

Dr. Chris Christensen Jr. 78 of Kalispell Passed away May 27, 2016 at his home in Kalispell surrounded by his loved ones. Born in Keokuk Iowa January 13, 1938 and raised on a farm in Montrose, Iowa by parents Chris and Leota Fruehling Christensen with a blended family of six older brothers and two sisters. He did his undergraduate studies at Union College in Lincoln, Nebraska and then earned his MD.  Loma Linda Medical School in 1964. He interned at Mission Memorial Hospital in Ashville, North Carolina. He was in public health service from 1965-1967 at Shiprock NM, where he developed a life-long  respect of the Navajo culture.  He then completed his surgical training at the University of Utah in 1971. In 1972 he married Diane Saxton and from this union three sons, David, Mark, and Jeffrey were born.  Chris worked at the Ogden clinic and then in private practice in Ogden and Layton Utah, later he worked at the VA hospital in Prescott Az., where he met Diane Cisco, who he married in 1988.  He retired as the chief surgeon in Hot Springs, South Dakota VA hospital in 2007.

Chris was an avid bicyclist, kayaker, hiker, and skier. Loving all the beauty of Montana, he was active with Rails to Trails of Northwest Montana as well 24 Hours of Flathead. He sat on the board of directors at the Eccles Community Art Center in Ogden, Utah.  Chris was an accomplished artist and enjoyed various forms of woodworking making several log beds, lamps and chests.  He could often be found in his garage turning bowls and pens.  He also made beautiful stained glass pieces as well as pottery

Most of all he enjoyed encouraging his sons in their endeavors, taking them and their friends boating and camping especially to his favorite place, Flaming Gorge.    He was so proud of them and their accomplishments.  

He was the Doctor’s doctor, called upon to save so many lives as a surgeon.  But when he was with his family he could compartmentalize his work and enjoy the precious moments with them.

He volunteered with the food bank and washed many dishes at Feeding the Flathead dinners.

Always enjoying new adventures Chris and Diane traveled to England, Ireland, Scotland and Wales with Dr. Ken and Lynn Kofed as well as their odyssey to Alaska in their fifth wheels one summer.


Proceeded in death by his parents Chris and Leota Christensen and seven brothers, one in infancy.  

Chris is survived by his wife Diane, sons David, Mark, and Jeffrey. Step children Beth Cisco, Mark Cisco (Lynn), Laura Garner (Dennis), Jeane Marie Carlson (Eric), four grandchildren and four step grandchildren. Sisters Delores Umbarger, Doris Cameron as well as many nieces and nephews.  Friends and family who will miss biking with him, especially Lanny Barton.

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