A Memorial Service for Pete Christianson of Badger, Minn., will be held on Saturday, January 4, 2020 at 2:00 PM at Our Redeemer’s Lutheran Church in Badger, Minn. Visitation will be held on Friday, January 3, 2020 from 5-7 PM with a prayer service at 7 PM at Helgeson Funeral Home in Roseau, Minn. Visitation will also be held one hour prior to the service at the church.
David “Pete” Ross Christianson, 73, Badger, MN, died on Wednesday, December 25, 2019 at his home, surrounded by his loving family.
Pete Christianson, the son of Joseph B Christianson and Esther Evelyn (Mattson) Christianson, was born March 26, 1946 in Roseau, Minn. He had an active childhood with milking cows, showing for 4-H, church activities, playing basketball in the hayloft with family and friends, and rough-housing with his big brother, Jim, and cousins. The boys were always a worry for their older sisters, Dolores, Joyce and especially, Sonia, who was charged with keeping them well-behaved and bones intact. He was baptized and confirmed at Our Redeemers and active in the Luther League. Pete attended school in Badger, Minn., graduating in 1964. While in school, Pete was an outstanding trumpet player, gaining inspiration from the direction of music teacher, Walter Coninx. In high school, he had a passion for sports, participating in basketball, football, track and losing a front tooth to baseball. He was in many academic groups, in choir and an excellent student. Pete continued his education at the University of Minnesota at Morris and Bemidji State University, receiving a bachelor’s degree in science as a Medical Technologist – the first to graduate with this achievement from BSU. Pete became certified as a Medical Technologist by the American Society of Clinical Pathologists at Hennepin County General Hospital in January 1969.
Pete was then employed at the General Hospital before being drafted into the army June 19, 1970 as a Medical Lab Specialist at Fort Leonard Wood, Mo., until December 23, 1971 and Camp Ripley, Minn., until his honorable discharge as an SP4 E-4 in 1972.
After his army discharge, Pete was employed as a Med Tech of Mycobacteriology and Parasitology at the Minneapolis Health Department in downtown Minneapolis. At times, he worked closely with many of the immigrants and refugees coming to Minnesota as a result of the Vietnam War.
In 1973, Pete was united in marriage to Paulette Harms – the first couple to be married at Messiah Lutheran Church in Roseau which was officiated by Pastor Louis Hermansen.
Pete and Paulette lived in Plymouth, Minn., and Bloomington, Minn., and were blessed with two sons, Corey in 1976 and Brett in 1979. Pete took advantage of a large back yard to play with his sons by creating obstacle courses, climbing the jungle-gym and teaching them how to throw and hit baseballs while gardening with Paulette.
Pete continued athletics into adulthood, playing basketball with friends and competing in slow-pitch softball leagues around the Twin Cities. His team won the Burnsville Over-30 League in 1980.
In 1983, the family moved to Badger and became owners of Pete’s Hartz, running a thriving grocery store until 2000. In their free time, they enjoyed playing cards and get-togethers with friends and family, watching local sports, hunting, playing golf, and anything to do with the Minnesota Gophers. Pete continued playing basketball at open-gym on Sundays where he was still nick-named “Pistol”.
While living in Badger, Pete was involved with Little League T-ball and managing Babe Ruth baseball. Pete was very community oriented and was involved in school events, organizing all-school reunions, publishing the centennial book, participating on the church council, and planning city projects and policy while serving on the Badger City Council. Pete and Paulette also served on the Northern Lights Concert Series Board for many years.
After selling the grocery store, Pete began working at Northwest Community Action as the Weatherization and Housing Director until his retirement in 2012. During this time, Pete and Paulette were Big Brothers and Big Sisters to local youth.
In 2002, Pete and Paulette sold their home in Badger and moved out near the old “swimming hole”, where they enjoyed the peace of the countryside with their horses, dogs and donkey on their little hobby farm. This also became a second home to grandchildren, Jasmine and Nils, with all the fun activities around the woods, trails and water with many campfires near the cabin. His grandchildren also became his little helpers as Pete grew older.
Other favorite activities of Pete’s were fishing with his wife, siblings, cousins, nieces and nephews on Lake Minaki, Flin Flon and Jan Lake, or on the ice at Lake of the Woods. Pete also enjoyed traveling to Wyoming with his family and was fortunate enough to travel abroad with family to Vietnam to visit his son, Corey, while he lived there. He also traveled to Germany, Norway and Sweden to explore family heritage, visit with past exchange students and sightsee.
Pete was a caring man with a giving spirit. Even in his passing, Pete has chosen to help others by participating in the University of Minnesota Medical School’s Anatomy Bequest Program, which supports high quality education for future health professionals and continued advancements in medical care through research.
Pete is survived by his wife, Paulette of 46 years; their two children, Corey (Ketsarin) Christianson, and Brett Christianson; sisters, Dolores Danielson, Sonia Foster; brother James (Carol) Christianson; sisters and brothers-in-law, Diann and Curt Hauger, Karen and Kim Messelt, JoAnn and Steve Brandt; grandchildren, Jasmine Christianson and Nils Christianson; and several nieces, nephews and many cousins.
He was preceded in death by his parents; sister, Joyce Kringlund; brothers-in-law, Don Kringlund, Ray Danielson, and George Foster; parents-in-law, Paul and Edna Harms; and niece, Margaret Foster.
In lieu of flowers, please donate to Walk to Remember to support families with loved ones living with dementia.
Helgeson Funeral Home