Funeral services will be held at 11:00 a.m., Saturday, January 19 at Bethlehem Lutheran Church in Royal, IA.
Russell Eugene Christensen was born November 29, 1927 on a farm near Royal, Iowa to Elizabeth (Jensen) Christensen and John "Edward" Christensen. Russ graduated from Royal High School, began farming with his father, and met a new first year school teacher named Marilea Eggleston. Russ and Mary married on July 8, 1951. They enjoyed 54 years of marriage together.
Russ loved farming and livestock. He was lucky to do what he was truly born to do. Russ used his passion for the cattle business to serve the industry at the local, state and national levels. Russ served as President of the Iowa Cattlemen’s Association (ICA) in 1983 and 1984 and was inducted into the ICA Hall of Fame in 1985. As President, he worked with then Governor Branstad to organize the first Governor’s Steer Show at the Iowa State Fair. This show continues more than three decades later and has raised over $3.5 million dollars for the Ronald McDonald Houses of Iowa.
Russ was an active, lifelong member of Bethlehem Lutheran Church in Royal. He also served his community as President of the Royal Telephone company for 16 years. He was a passionate ancestral historian and held a wealth of knowledge regarding the history of Clay County. Russ loved telling stories of his Danish heritage and the pioneering local families he so admired. Russ enjoyed a good laugh and had a history of elaborate jokes that he and his friends played on each other over the years.
The greatest joy to Russell was his family. He and Mary were proud and loving parents and grandparents. He was a huge fan of Clay Central/Everly Maverick and Spencer Tiger events. Russ and Mary rarely missed celebrating a child or grandchild’s activity of any kind.
Russell is survived by his three children, Jane (David) Kruse of Spirit Lake, Sue (David) Brugman of Royal, and Jim (Julie) Christensen of Royal; 11 grandchildren including, Megan Kruse, Matthew (Caroline) Kruse, Molly (Adam) Wuebker and Chase Kruse; Betsy (Jake) Schoelerman, BJ (Kayla) Brugman, and Laura (Sam) Showalter; Jennifer (Mike) Hosch, Anne (Luis) Soto, Lee (Mark) Pierce and Wesley (Jackie) Christensen; 14 great grandchildren.
225 West 3rd Street • Spencer, IA 51301 • 712-262-3640 • Fax 712-262-1618