MISSOULA – On Monday, March 3, 2014, with her family by her side, Mary Lou Christensen passed away at Riverside Health Care from advanced Alzheimer’s.
Mary Lou was born May 1, 1924, in Valier to George and Nell Minty, joining her brother Ed and sister Margaret. She attended grade school in Missoula. In her teens, she spent a lot of time with her best friends, Peggy Maclay and Doris Haines, growing up in Missoula and exploring our beautiful state. She graduated from Missoula County High School in 1942.
Mary Lou met Bob Christensen, a young bomber pilot and ROTC instructor in the Air Corps. They were married and raised three children together, Steve, Jan and Joe. Mary Lou was a wonderful mother, grandmother and homemaker. She loved camping, sewing, knitting and being outdoors. One of her favorite places was Glacier Park, especially Many Glacier. Mary Lou spent a lot of time at the family cabin at Noxon Reservoir. She also loved to entertain family and friends and traveled to Hawaii, Washington, D.C., California, Nebraska and Canada. She was an avid reader and graciously donated time to Radio Reading for the Blind along with many other charitable causes. Mary Lou was a lifelong member of the First United Methodist Church, where she taught Sunday School. She loved her dogs and always told our friends, “Love us, love our dogs.”
For many years, Mary Lou was employed by Central Answering Service until the business sold, then Wyckman’s Office Supply as a receptionist, Partners in Home Care and Hospice. She worked well into her 70s. Mary Lou was also a member and former president of the Missoula Jaceens.
Devoted to her family, children and grandchildren, Mary Lou was always there to help anyone in need. She had a great smile and wonderfully witty sense of humor, even in the face of Alzheimer’s. Mary Lou always lived her life with dignity and grace. We will miss her, but we find peace knowing she is happy and healthy again.
Mary Lou is survived by her son Steve Christensen and wife Denise of Missoula; daughter Jan Kuntz and husband Ron of Kingston, Idaho; granddaughters Julie Davis and husband Sean of Bonner and Jamie McGraw and husband Brian of Great Falls; grandson Cody Christensen of Missoula; great-granddaughters Katie and Emma McGraw, and great-grandsons Zach and Hunter Davis and Matt McGraw. She was preceded in death by her parents; husband Bob; son Joe; brother Ed; sister Margie; grandson Mark and her special friend Jim Danuser.
We want to thank Riverside Healthcare for the wonderful, compassionate care our mother received. To celebrate her life, contributions in memory of Mary Lou Christensen can be made to the Alzheimer’s Foundation of America at www.alzfnd.org. We are planning a celebration of Mary Lou’s life to be announced later this spring, and everyone is welcome.