La Grande, Oregon
Betty Jane Christensen, 88, formerly of La Grande, died March 17 in Gilbert, Ariz. Visitation will be from 4 to 7 p.m. Friday at Loveland Funeral Chapel, 1508 Fourth St., La Grande, and 1 to 2 p.m. Saturday at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints Stake Center, 1802 Gekeler. A funeral service will begin at 2 p.m. Saturday at the LDS Stake Center, followed by dedication of the grave at Grandview Cemetery.
Mrs. Chistensen was born March 16, 1919, to Roy and Blanche (Kessler) Grice in Hutchinson, Kan. Her family moved to Oregon when she was a child, first to Pendleton and a short time later to La Grande. She spent more than 70 years in the Grande Ronde Valley.
A 1937 graduate of La Grande High School, she was involved in many high school activities, including her role as Little Eva in the play “Uncle Tom’s Cabin” in which she was hoisted to heaven on a rope.
After high school, trained and graduated as a registered nurse from the University of Kansas Medical Center in Kansas City. Mrs. Christensen returned to La Grande in 1941, where she worked at St. Joseph’s Hospital. She later joined the Army Nurses Corp and spent most of her time on the maternity ward in Oakland, Calif.
She met Russell “Lamar” Christensen upon her return to La Grande. They were married Feb. 1, 1947. Lamar preceded her in death in 2003.
She worked as a nurse in various capacities for 34 years, including St. Joseph’s Hospital, Eastern Oregon University Health Center, Union County Health Department and Home Health.
Mrs. Christensen’s central focus was her family. She was a wife, mother, grandmother and great-grandmother.
She became a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in 1958 and served in many positions in the church.
In their later years, the Christensens moved to Kent, Wash., with their daughter and son-in-law and later accompanied them to Gilbert, Ariz., where Mrs. Christensen continued to live until her death.
Survivors include her children and their spouses, Steve and Melody Christensen of Portland, Rebecca and Dennis Cass of Gilbert, Ariz., and Russell and Molly Christensen of Salem; brother and sister-in-law, Roy “Bud” and Maggie Grice of Boise; seven grandchildren and two great-grandchildren; and a niece and a nephew.
Memorials may be made to the La Grande Family History Center or to the American Cancer Society in care of Loveland Funeral Chapel, 1508 Fourth St., La Grande 97850.
The Observer – Obituaries for the week ending March 24, 2007 Published: March 24, 2007