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Obituaries » Charles R. Christianson

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November 14, 1934 - July 11, 2023

A memorial service will be held on Saturday, July 29, 2023, at 11:00 a.m. at Prince of Peace Lutheran Church, 1747 W. Milham Ave. Portage, MI. Friends may greet the family at the church beginning at 10:00 a.m. Chuck will be laid to rest with Jan at Grand Prairie Cemetery. Memorial contributions may be made to Habitat for Humanity of Kalamazoo, Ministry with Community, or Prince of Peace Lutheran Church, in c/o the funeral home.

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Charles “Chuck” Russel Christianson died at home on July 11, 2023 at the age of 88. He was born in Stevens Point, Wisconsin on November 14, 1934 to Russel and Thelma (Hulbert) Christianson. On August 3, 1957 he married Janet Ruth Holmes who preceded him in death in 2020. He graduated with a BS in Biochemical Engineering from the University of Wisconsin in 1958. Following graduation, Chuck and Jan moved to Kalamazoo, Michigan where they lived for all but 5 years when work took the family to Cheshire, Connecticut.

Chuck worked in the Chemical Division of The Upjohn Company for 34 years. He was engaged in project management from the design process and contracting to completion of the final project. Over the years he worked on a chemical plant, a cabin on Bankson Lake, a new sanctuary at church and the ski patrol treatment building, to name a few.

Chuck was active in his Church, DeMolay, the Civil Air Patrol, Boy Scouts, Ski Patrol (44 years), Habitat for Humanity (22 years), Southwest Michigan Gun Club (61 years) and West Michigan Woodturners (27 years).

From childhood, he liked to make things from wood. He made everything from toys, to furniture and kayaks. In 1996, Chuck joined a woodturning club and he started turning bowls, plates, candle holders and boxes from wood collected in Michigan wood lots and forests. He especially enjoyed turning bowls, plates and ornaments for is wife to decorate with Norwegian Rosemaling.

Chuck also enjoyed hiking, all types of camping, canoeing, skiing (70 years), hunting, fishing, target shooting, travel, and flying; especially in sail planes, hot air balloons and in the Goodyear Blimp.

Chuck treasured his family and friends both old and new. As a volunteer, church member, neighbor and friend, he touched many people’s lives. He believed in being a productive member of his community and he exemplified his belief in the importance of work-life balance. Chuck was an advocate for conserving resources and minimizing human impact on climate.

He was a loving husband to Jan and a wonderful father to, Laura (Richard) Bennett of Shalimar, FL, Carol Christianson of Kalamazoo and Karl (Gina) Christianson of York, PA. Chuck was so proud of his grandsons Mike (Samantha) Bennett, Blake Christianson, and Alex Christianson, and his granddaughters Krista (Jarrod) Wooden and Meredith (Ben) Kawecki. He has four great grandchildren, Luke, Nathaniel and Andrew Bennett and Elizabeth Wooden. He is also survived by his; brothers, Paul (Sandy) and Roger (Leslie) Christianson and his brother-in-law, Phillip Holmes; several nieces and nephews; and many friends. Besides his wife, Chuck was preceded in death by his parents.