A Man with 5 names Walter Ivan Christensen, Jr. was born in Greenfield, Iowa on November 28, 1927. He was preceded in death by his parents Lela Elizabeth and Walter I. Christensen, Sr. To his family and friends in Iowa, he was known as Junior. He lived in Greenfield until he joined the Navy at age 17. After leaving the Navy he finished his college degree and for a while taught School. He then decided to join the Air Force. While serving in the Air Force, he was instrumental in developing the missile program and served in 3 wars. He was awarded the Bronze Star Medal for Heroic or meritorious achievement and service. He retired from the Air Force after 20 years of service achieving the rank of Lt. Colonel. His co-workers called him the Colonel. While he was in the USAF, he earned his Ph.D in Meteorology from the University of Wisconsin. The students and parents at The Lakeside School gave him the name of "Doc". The name followed him to Dixie Academy. He cared deeply for all the students whose lives he touched. He loved to challenge his students both academically and personally to be the best. To his wife, he was simply Chris. My sister and I called him Dad. His grandchildren and his great granddaughters called him Papaw. It does not matter which name you used to call him, he would always answer you with respect and love. He only had one hobby that I know of which was fishing and he took that very seriously. He cared deeply about his family and making sure we were always taken care of. He is survived by his children Joni (Joe) McKnight and Cydney Daniell, his grandchildren Chris (Melissa) McKnight, Dana (Flynt) Barksdale and Darby Daniell, his nephews, Steve Jones and Doug (Mary Jo) Jones and his great granddaughters. He is preceded in death by wife of 60 years Jimmie Lou Bearrentine, his parents and his sister, Lois Jones. Honorary pallbearers: Doug Jones, Steve Jones, Joe McKnight, Dean Brown, John Pitt Williams, Marshall Williams, Jr. and all previous students of Mr. Christensen. Private family graveside services will be held Saturday July 11, 2020 at the Clayton City Cemetery in Clayton, Alabama. In lieu of flowers contributions may be made to the Clayton City Cemetery or to the Clayton United Methodist Church. Glover Funeral Home of Clayton was entrusted with the arrangements. Please sign the guestbook online at www.gloverfuneral.com.
Sign up to get the most recent local obituaries delivered to your inbox.