|Birth: ||Mar. 1, 1923|
|Death: ||Mar. 21, 2014|
Roland ("Chris") Martin Christensen started his life's journey March 1, 1923 on a dry land farm in Garden County, Nebraska, the second of two sons born to Christen Lauritz Christensen and Emma Lehmkuhl Christensen. His father was of Danish descent and his mother, German.
Roland and his brother, Christen Darwin "Dar" Christensen married sisters, Lois Jean and Betty Munson in 1944, the year the boys joined the U.S. Navy to become pilots.
Roland began his Navy career as a fighter pilot and instructor during WWII and flew helicopter rescue missions from the Bon Homme Richard in Korea in 1952-53 pulling downed pilots from the icy sea. He served 22 years in the Navy and Naval Reserves and returned to flying in 1965 as a helicopter check pilot for the Army at Fort Wolters in Mineral Wells, Texas during the Viet Nam War.
Roland then began another career with the Department of Defense as a Housing Manager. During this phase, he completed a tour at Ansbach, Germany and retired from Fort Sam Houston in 1986, settling in San Antonio with Lois after living in over 30 different homes together.
Roland and Lois raised three children, Nancy, Charles, and Jane. The couple has been active in church and social activities and enjoy spending time with family and friends. Roland, an accomplished woodworker and painter produced many treasured pieces that will be admired and cherished for a long time. He loved gardening and always had a fresh flower on the table for Lois in the growing season. Roland was a fisherman and an explorer who drove thousands of miles crisscrossing the country – always seeking the scenic routes or short cuts. As his youngest daughter, Jane recalls, "Dad's shortcuts became known simply as alternate routes." He was the pilot, not the navigator. Many of the cross-country jaunts were centered on genealogy research in pursuit of ancestral connections. Roland and Lois traveled through Germany and Denmark looking for Roland's roots and Sweden seeking Lois's family origins. The family tree is quite extensive and Nancy has documented the results of the research for posterity. Roland bowled in a local league, was active in the neighborhood association and on the COPS patrol, a card player all his life who enjoyed poker night with his buddies.
Roland had an uncanny wit and was an eternal optimist who found the best in everyone he encountered.
Excerpted from obituary posted by family at Sunset Funeral Home.
Photos courtesy of Yolanda Gonzales and the Christensen family.
Note: LCDR US Navy, World War II, Korea
Fort Sam Houston National Cemetery
Plot: Section 93 Site 459
Created by: Owl63
Record added: Mar 22, 2014
Find A Grave Memorial# 126741369
Added: Jun. 8, 2014