Theodore Loren (T. Loren) Christianson, age 93, of Hendricks, MN passed away on Friday, October 25, 2019 at the Hendricks Nursing Home. A Celebration of Life Service will be held at 11:00 a.m. on Saturday, November 30, 2019 at Bethel Lutheran Church, Astoria, SD. Burial will be at the Bethlehem Cemetery, rural Astoria, SD. Visitation will be held one hour prior to the service at the church on Saturday. The Houseman Funeral Home is entrusted with the arrangements.
Theodore Loren (T. Loren) Christianson was born July 13, 1926 to Theodore and Clara (Hanson) Christianson at home near Astoria on the farm homesteaded by his grandfather in l878. He was baptized and confirmed at Bethlehem Lutheran church. He graduated from Astoria High School in 1944.
After graduation he started farming and in June 1950 he bought the homestead of his grandfather. On December 16, 1950 he was united in marriage to Gladys Schmidt of Clear Lake. Six days later he received his draft notice. He reported for duty in January 1951 and received his basic training at Ft. Riley, Kansas. After basic training he attended leadership school. On July 6, 1951 he left for Japan, where he spent 6 weeks at Eta Jima Specialist School for additional instruction as an electrical engineer. In September 1951 he went to Korea with the 76th Construction Engineers Battalion, where he served until December 1952. After his discharge in January 1953 he returned to his farm near Astoria. In 2015 he received The AMBASSADOR FOR PEACE MEDAL from the South Korean Government, awarded to all troops serving in the Korean war.
Loren was always very active in his community. He was leader of a boy’s 4-H club for 21 years. He served on the school board, township board, county commission and finally State Representative in the Legislature in Pierre for 9 terms (18 years) where he served as vice chairman of the Local Government Committee and on the Agricultural Committee. He was on the church council serving terms as President and secretary, Sunday School Superintendent and teacher and member of the choir. He loved God, his church and his family. He received the Eminent Farmer Award from SDSU in 2001. He was a founding director of Brookings-Deuel Water System and served on the State and Local boards from 1974-2008. He received the Carroll Anderson Memorial National Award and the Friend of Rural Water Award. He was a director and agent for Deuel County Farm Mutual Insurance Company serving a term as State Chairman. He also served on the board of the Good Samaritan Home of Clear Lake for several years. He loved farming and when he retired he started “farming the yard” with many flower beds and a huge garden. He enjoyed putting up Christmas lights and making cutouts to decorate the yard. He was a very patient man and treasured his time with family.
In 2007 they moved from the homestead farm to Hendricks, MN. Grandson Jesse now owns the farm, the fifth and sixth generation of the Christiansons family to live there.
Loren is survived by his wife Gladys Christianson; son, Steve (Kris) Christianson, Lincoln, NE; daughter-in-law, Elizabeth Christianson, Astoria, SD; daughters: Jane (Bill) Nelson, Burbank, SD; Sue (Doug) Ensley, Athens, GA; and Lori Talbott, Sioux Falls, SD; 11 grandchildren: Amanda (Roger) Mead, Jesse (Tonya) Christianson, John Nelson, Tara (Jesse) Neese, Rachel Nelson, Kaia Nelson, Tyler (Amanda) Christianson, Sara Christianson (Cole Neibauer), Ian (Sarah) Ensley, Bethany (Adam) Sherrer and Amber (Eric) Johnson; and great grandchildren: Ava and Jacob Neese, Pacific Coster, Theodore Dakota and Skye Christianson, Joseph and Jameson Mead, Isaac and Noah Ensley, Lauren Sherrer, step great grandsons, Brenden and Jakob Johnson.
He was preceded in death by infant twin daughters, Peggy and Valerie; son, Ted (2003); grandson, Jonathan Talbott (2015); his parents; three sisters: Lorraine Christianson, Ethelyn (George) Tollefson, and Marlys (Jim) Schmidt; and two brothers, Kermit (Iola) and Russell (Lois/Ardis).
A Celebration of Life service will be held on November 30, 2019 at Bethel Lutheran Church in Astoria.