Obituary for Larry Christenson

Larry Christenson, age 89 of Northfield, passed away on Tuesday, December 26, 2017, at Abbott-Northwestern Hospital in Minneapolis. Laurence Donald Christenson was born in Northfield on March 10, 1928, the son of Ade and Mimi (Donhowe) Christenson. He attended Longfellow Elementary School, and Northfield Junior and Senior High School, with brief war-time detours with his family to Northome, Minnesota, Los Angeles, California, and Ely, Minnesota. He graduated in the Northfield High School class of 1946. In 2009, he received a distinguished alumni award from Northfield High School as “writer, teacher, minister.” Following high school, Larry served two years in the […]

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Larry Christenson, age 89 of Northfield, passed away on Tuesday, December 26, 2017, at Abbott-Northwestern Hospital in Minneapolis.

Laurence Donald Christenson was born in Northfield on March 10, 1928, the son of Ade and Mimi (Donhowe) Christenson. He attended Longfellow Elementary School, and Northfield Junior and Senior High School, with brief war-time detours with his family to Northome, Minnesota, Los Angeles, California, and Ely, Minnesota. He graduated in the Northfield High School class of 1946. In 2009, he received a distinguished alumni award from Northfield High School as “writer, teacher, minister.”

Following high school, Larry served two years in the U.S. Army. In the fall of 1947, he coached a regimental football team that won the championship of the 82nd Airborne Division. He graduated magna cum laude, a member of Phi Beta Kappa, from St. Olaf College in 1952. He and Nordis Evenson were married in their senior year at St. Olaf. After college, the couple moved to Los Angeles. Larry studied creative writing for three years with Bert Mitchell Anderson, a private teacher and literary consultant, and worked as a technical writer for Pacific Finance Corporation. Writing was an important part of his life and career, and he wrote 18 books between 1960 and 2013. Several became bestsellers (sales over 100,000).

In 1955, Larry enrolled at Luther Theological Seminary in St. Paul, graduating with honors in 1959. For one year he worked in the Lutheran Church in Germany, then as pastor of Trinity Lutheran Church in San Pedro, California from 1960-1982, and as director of the International Lutheran Renewal Center in St. Paul until his retirement in 1995. Larry and Nordis spent their early retirement years in Northome, Minnesota, and the last decade they were residents of Kildahl Park Pointe, a senior citizen housing cooperative in Northfield.

The Christensons have four married children (all St. Olaf graduates), 18 grandchildren, and a growing number of great-grandchildren. When their own children were small, together with a number of families in the congregation in San Pedro, they were led into a serious study of biblical teaching on family life. Larry’s book describing this work, The Christian Family, sold more than two million copies, with translations into many languages. David Wilkerson said, “It is the best I have ever read on the subject.” Mrs. Billy Graham called it a “superb guidebook for the Christian home.”

Larry is survived by his wife of 66 years, Nordis; his children Timothy (Glenda) of Springfield, Virginia, Laurie (Don) Kuck of Ypsilanti, Michigan, Stephen (Katarina) of Munich, Germany, and Arne (Debra) of Oakton, Virginia; 18 grandchildren; 5 great-grandchildren; his sister Joanne May of Minnetonka; other relatives and friends. He was preceded in death by his brother Adrian, Jr., who was killed in action in Korea, an infant son, Glenn Adrian, and a great-granddaughter, Libby Kosterlitzky.

Funeral services will be Saturday, January 13 at 11:00 am at St. John’s Lutheran Church in Northfield. Visitation will be 4-7PM, Friday, January 12, 2018, at the Benson & Langehough Funeral Home and at the church on Saturday beginning at 10:00 am. Interment will take place in Oaklawn Cemetery.

Memorials are preferred to St. John’s Lutheran Church, 500 West 3rd St, Northfield, MN 55057.

Arrangements are with the Benson & Langehough Funeral Home. www.northfieldfuneral.com

A Remarkable Life — Larry Christenson, 1928-2017: Pastor led Lutheran charismatic renewal in San Pedro

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Funeral

January 13, 2018 - 11:00 AM


Visitation One Hour Before Service
St. John’s Lutheran Church
500 3rd St W Northfield, 55057 Get Directions

Visitation

January 12, 2018 - 4:00 PM - 7:00PM

Benson & Langehough Funeral Home
201 East 4th Street Northfield, 55057 Get Directions

Burial

Burial

Oaklawn Cemetery
1415 Wall Street Rd Northfield, 55057 Get Directions

7 Comments

  1. Michelle Duval Ule

    Our sympathies to the Christenson family from Robert and Michelle Ule and the Duvals–all who benefited from Pastor C and Nordis’ ministry in San Pedro.

    Blessings to all

    Reply
    • Gary Buentemeier

      Nordis. So sad to hear about Larry but know he is rejoicing with his Lord and Savior now. our deepest condencez to you and your extended family.

      Gary and Vonnie Buentemeier

      Reply
  2. Pastor Bill Mann

    The prayers of the pastors of Circuit 9 of the Southeastern District are with you and your family. Jesus said, “I am the resurrection and the life

    Reply
  3. Jennifer & Martin Cuthbertson

    Dear Nordis and family,
    Martin and I were saddened to hear of Larry’s death. We have such fond memories of our times with him in Arabia (and in your home eating your apple dessert and drinking coffee made from syrup). We benefitted significantly from his ministry but more than that, from his friendship and person.
    Our love and sympathy go out to you.
    Martin and Jennifer Cuthbertson

    Reply
  4. Jerry and Deb Nepodal

    May God grant you His peace and comfort. It’s readily apparent that he was a rich blessing to many through his ministry and writings.

    Reply
  5. Tina Swenson

    Dear Nordis,

    I extend my deepest sympathies to you and your family. May the soul of your Husband be at peace with our Heavenly Father.

    Sylvia Knutson asked me to contact you. I can be reached at (507) 645-8840.

    Sending my heartfelt condolences.

    Reply
  6. Lucille Westling Vandervort

    Sincere sympathy

    Reply

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