James J. "Jim" Christenson, 61, of Sioux City, died Saturday, Oct. 9, 2004, at his residence after a courageous battle with lung and bone cancer. He died peacefully with his loving family at his bedside and his faithful dog, Sami, laying beside him.
James J. Christenson was born Nov. 21, 1942, in Sioux City, the son of F.B. "Bernie" and Agnes (Tokarczyk) Christenson. He attended school in Sioux City and graduated from East High School in 1960. He then attended Creighton University in Omaha, Neb. Following his schooling, he had owned and operated Sioux City Music and Dance School since 1962. He was an officer and instructor for the Chicago National Association of Dance Masters. He was also a popular teacher for several dance workshops throughout the Midwest. Later, he was poker dealer for the Belle of Sioux City Casino.
He was united in marriage to Jo Ann Beck on Sept. 6, 1963, in Sioux City.
Jim was a past board of directors member for the Southern Hills Country Club and a longtime member of the Chicago National Association of Dance Masters. He loved playing golf with his friends. For the past 10 years, he enjoyed gardening and the beauty of the flowers that he planted, feeding birds and squirrels. He also enjoyed working puzzles, fishing with his friends, and playing cards. He loved the times spent with family and friends.
He loved walking with his dog, Sami, and just sitting outside on the driveway socializing with the neighbors and people walking by. Jim was very much a people person. He was extremely proud of all of his children's careers and their wise life choices and didn't hesitate to tell anyone.
Survivors include his wife over 41 years, Jo Ann (Beck) Christenson of Sioux City; a son: Jim Christenson and his wife, Brenda of North Sioux City, S.D.; a son: Jon Christenson of Sioux City; a daughter: Julie Gessler and her husband Craig of Sioux Falls, S.D.; a daughter: Jill Holton and her husband. Dr. Nicholas of Le Mars; a sister, Mary Johnson of Las Vegas, Nev.; a brother, Bill and his wife Sue of Gilbert, Ariz.; a sister, Linda and her husband Bill of Morris, Ill.; six grandchildren: Alex, Allie, Christian, Justin, Taylor, and Adam; several aunts, uncles, nieces and nephews; and many special friends of the family whose love and support will be never be forgotten, and the numerous students whose lives he touched throughout the years.
He was preceded in death by his parents and his paternal and maternal grandparents.
Services will be 10:30 a.m. Wednesday at the Church of the Nativity Catholic Church in Sioux City. Burial will be in Graceland Park Cemetery in Sioux City. Visitation will be today (Tuesday) after 3 p.m., with the family present after 6 p.m., and a Parish vigil service at 7 p.m., all at the Church of the Nativity Catholic Church in Sioux City. The Carlsen Funeral Home, Schroeder Chapel of Akron, is in charge of arrangements.
Casketbearers will be Jerry Skoglund, Delmar Rees, Christian Gipple, Dr. Nicholas Holton, Craig Gessler, and Bill Petrick. Honorary casketbearers will be Alex Christenson, Justin Ruby, Zachary Petrick, Jim's godson, David Layhee, and Jerry Scott.