July 15, 2013
Walter Christianson died on June 12, 2013, in Grass Valley, Calif. He was 97.
A celebration of Walt’s life will be held on July 27, 2013, from 1 to 4 p.m. at the Higgins Lions Community Center, 22490 E. Hacienda Drive, adjacent to Lake of the Pines
Walter was born in Sioux Falls, S.D., on Oct. 18, 1915, to Otto and Marie (Peterson) Christianson. Walter’s family moved to Los Angeles in 1920 and eventually settled in Pacific Palisades in 1923. Walt graduated from University High School in West Los Angeles and attended Santa Monica City College and U.C.L.A., where he studied accounting and became a lifelong Bruins fan.
In 1940 he married Margaret Barnhisel, settling first in Santa Monica and shortly thereafter in Pacific Palisades, where they raised three children, Raynor, Meg and David. He and Margaret were active in the life of their community and were founding members of the Presbyterian Church in Pacific Palisades.
Walt worked for the Harry L. Nourse Audit Company in Santa Monica for seven years, followed by 28 years at North American Aviation (later Rockwell International), where he became director of Property Administration. He retired in 1970 at the tender age of 55, thereby setting an enviable standard for his children. His early retirement enabled him and Margaret to travel extensively throughout the world.
In 1985, Walt and Margaret moved to Lake of the Pines to be nearer to their children. Following Margaret’s death in 2000, he married Patricia Williams in 2001.
Walt was a member of the Higgins Diggins Lions Club and Sons in Retirement (SIRS). Throughout his life, he was an avid skier; he also enjoyed golf, fishing and family vacations at Lake Tahoe and Snowmass, Colo.
He is survived by his wife, Patricia; children Raynor Christianson (Mary Van Gemert) of Vashon, Wash., David (Linda) Christianson of Sacramento, Calif., and Meg Christianson of Grass Valley, Calif.; stepchildren Joan Kelly of Chandler, Ariz., and Dana Williams of Hawaii; sisters Eva Johnson of Green Valley, Ariz., and Joy Morton of Hawthorne, Calif.; grandchildren Terra (Scott) Helke, Peter (Charla) Christianson and Heather Christianson; step-grandchildren Lauren and Shannon Kelly; great-grandchildren Grayson and Ava Helke; and numerous nieces and nephews.
Walt was preceded in death by his wife, Margaret; parents Otto and Marie Christianson; and sister, Violet Christianson.
Walt was a kind and gentle man whose family always came first. He was deeply loved and will be greatly missed by his family and many friends.