Obituary: George M. Christensen

George M. Christensen, 85, a longtime resident of Rifle, passed away July 20 in Carlsbad, Calif., surrounded by his loving family. Cause of death was from complications of multiple myeloma cancer.

George had a dental practice in Rifle for 41 years. He and his wife, Linda, retired to Carlsbad in 1998, but often returned “home” to Rifle.

George was born in Arco, Minn., to John and Bea Christensen and was raised in Ruthton, Minn. He joined the Marine corps in 1946, also served in the Air Force and was a veteran of World War II and the Korean War. He received his DDS from the University of Minnesota in 1951 and traveled to Colorado with Dr. Faye Law. He began his practice in Rifle in 1957.

In 1969, George was awarded “Man of the Year” by the Rifle Chamber of Commerce for his many activities that promoted the Rifle community. He was instrumental in establishing the Rifle Creek Golf Course and Rifle Metro Park District. He was on the boards of Clagett Memorial Hospital, Rangely Junior College and Rifle Methodist-Presbyterian Church. He was a chamber member, city councilman and president of the Western Slope Dental Association, a founding member of the Masons and the Elks Lodge. He was a past president and remained active in Rotary throughout his years in Rifle. As Dr. Max Word stated on presenting George as man of the year, “George was a learner, a doer and a dedicated man.”

George was a natural born hunter and loved his time hunting and fishing with his children, family and friends. He enjoyed camping, hiking, cross-country skiing and square dancing. George lived life to the fullest. He was passionate about his many interests, from healthy living to politics. He was a man of great integrity. He loved his family above all. He was a gentle soul, loved and respected by his community, many friends and his family.

George is survived by his wife, Linda; daughter, Pamela (Kelly) Sims; son, Chris (Dayle) Christensen; daughter, Heather Christensen; stepdaughter, Nikki (Bryan) Miller; and stepson, Charles Fabricius; twin sisters, Joan Swan and Joyce Sparks; brother, Jack (Barbie) Christensen; brother-in-law, Dan Kaliher; grandchildren, Christopher Sims, Kaleigh (Brian) Key, Brett Christensen, Holly Christensen and Jessica (Kyle) Carrier; great grandchildren, Kesleigh Key, Dylan, Landon and Jaxon Carrier and 16 nieces and nephews.

He was preceded in death by his first wife, Joyce (Jeff) Fiedler; his parents; sister, Norma Kaliher; and his brother-in-laws, Robert Swan and Jim Sparks.

A memorial service will be held at 11 a.m. Friday, Aug. 16, at the United Methodist-Presbyterian Church in Rifle. In lieu of flowers, the family suggests donations to Rifle Creek Golf Course, 3004 Colorado 325, Rifle, CO 81650; Rifle Rotary or the Multiple-Myeloma Research Foundation, 383 Main Ave. 5th Floor, Norwalk, CT 06851.

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