In Memory of

Russell Eugene Christensen

November 29, 1927 - December 27, 2018
From: Royal, IA
Russell Eugene Christensen

Russell Eugene Christensen

Born: November 29, 1927
Died: December 27, 2018
Age: 91

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In lieu of flowers, a memorial fund has been established by the family.

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.   


Funeral services will be held at 11:00 a.m., Saturday, January 19 at Bethlehem Lutheran Church in Royal, IA.

Pastor Mark Wilms
Megan Kruse
Matt Kruse
Molly Weubker
Chase Kruse
Jennifer Hosch
Anne Soto
Lee Pierce
Wes Christensen
Betsy Schoelerman
B.J. Brugman
Laura Showalter
Visitation will be held from 9 to 10:30 A.M., Saturday, January 19th at the church in Royal with the family present.
"A Mighty Fortress Is Our God"
"Jesus Loves Me" - 1st Verse sung by Molly Wuebker in Danish
"Beautiful Savior"
"My Hope Is Built On Nothing Less"

Organist: Sue Brugman
Pianist: Lynn Wilms
Instrumentalist: David Swaroff
Willow Creek Cemetery
Royal, Iowa
Privately with the family

A lunch and time of fellowship with the family will be held immediately following the funeral servcies at the church.


Tuesday, January 15, 2019 at 8:02 PM
“I had worked with Russ during his time at the ICA. Such a friendly man, always a person I respected. It meant so much to us when Russ came over to Eastern Iowa for our wedding back in 1976. If Russ told you something it was TRUE!
One of the best gentleman I have ever known- John and Lonna Furlong”
Wednesday, January 9, 2019 at 12:13 PM
“Jim and Julie - On behalf of the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences please accept our sincere condolences with the passing of Russell E. Christensen. There are key farm leaders within Iowa who have shaped our farm economy, supported our rural communities, and added significant value to this great state. Is is clear to us that your father is one of those wonderful individuals.”
- Joe P Colletti
Wednesday, January 9, 2019 at 8:10 AM
“So sorry to hear of Russell's passing. He was a kind gentleman. I really appreciated him when I went in the ditch on black ice and he helped me out. ”
- Judy Langholz
Tuesday, January 8, 2019 at 2:38 PM
“We are sorry for your loss. My Dad and Mom really thought very highly of Russell, he will be missed. My Dad loves to tell stories about the farm when they were boys together.
Fondly, Matt & Monica”
- Matt & Monica Oggero
Monday, January 7, 2019 at 2:33 PM
“A Live well lived Sorry your loss, Many fond memories It was always good to see him with his smile and all new me My sympathy to you all”
- Linda (Schuknecht) Brooks
Monday, January 7, 2019 at 2:33 PM
“Our sympathies for Jane and her whole family. We met Russel Christensen several times during our long friendship with Jane’s and David’s family. We always remember our wonderful trip with Russell to Denmark in 2012! He really enjoyed to see the country of his Grandfather Knud. We knew Russel as an authentic, straight forward character with the heart at the right place and unrestricted faith in his family. He is a role model for people to be hard-working, open minded and reliable until old age. ”
- Family Schuette from Dresden (Germany)
Saturday, January 5, 2019 at 7:57 AM
“Sue and families, I am so sorry for your loss.”
- JoAnn Coakley
Friday, January 4, 2019 at 8:09 AM
“My sympathy to Jane, Sue & Jim and families. So sorry for your lost! Russ was quite the guy!! I got to know him more as I helped him when I worked with home instead. I always enjoyed the time I spent with him, be it driving him around or reading books to him and listening to him tell about the history of his family and Clay county. He will be missed by many.”
- Jeanette (Nance) Meyer
Friday, January 4, 2019 at 8:09 AM
“We are so sorry for your loss. Russ was a wonderful man that raised a beautiful and truly amazing family. His pride in all of you, passions in life and devotion to his church and community were palpable and such great reminders of a tight knit family and well-lived life. May all of you be surrounded by love and peace in your sorrows and know that your loss is Heavens gain. Love to all of you. ”
- Iesha and Josh Toft
Friday, January 4, 2019 at 8:08 AM
“So sorry to hear of Russell's passing. Always enjoyed visiting with him when we would come up for the Clay County Fair. Always appreciated his and all the Christensen's kindess to our son Derrin and his family.”
- Dennis and Gwen Day
Friday, January 4, 2019 at 8:08 AM
“Our sincere sympathies for all of Russ’s family. Russ was certainly one of the good guys and will be deeply missed by all who knew him.
God Bless!”
- Randy & Suzanne Krukow
Friday, January 4, 2019 at 8:08 AM
“Sending prayers and wishes of love and comfort to your wonderful family during this time. ”
- Audrey Cox
Friday, January 4, 2019 at 8:08 AM
“A man who lived a full extremely productive life. A man definitely "outstanding in his field". ”
- Cheryl Brower Berkel
Thursday, January 3, 2019 at 8:03 AM
“Our hearts are heavy knowing that such a dear person and friend has passed. Our prayers and thoughts go out to all of you. Such a great family. Getting to know Russ was such a gift. Having the pleasure to spend my Saturday evenings driving him to meet his family and friends for dinner. No one else I would have rather spent my evening with. We had many great conversations. And a few adventures. He was one of a kind and such a great person. We are at ease knowing Russ and Mary are reunited, he always knew heaven was his home and he is home. God Bless you all at this tough time he will be missed but you too will be with him again.
Mona and Mark Boyd
- Mark and Mona Boyd
Thursday, January 3, 2019 at 8:02 AM
“My condolences go out to all of Russ’s family. He lived a full life & many memories.”
- Rich Bailey
Thursday, January 3, 2019 at 8:02 AM
“Sympathies from the Morgan family.
Carol, Pat, Todd, Anne and Louis ”
- Carol & Pat Morgan
Thursday, January 3, 2019 at 8:02 AM
“So Sorry. You have our sympathy.”
- Jim & Pat Hynes
Thursday, January 3, 2019 at 8:01 AM
“To Jane, Sue Ann, Jim and family ~ I was so saddened to hear of your recent loss; my deepest condolences go out to you. I grew up as a close-by neighbor, shoestring Christensen cousin to your family and childhood friend to Sue Ann. My earliest childhood memory of Russell was seeing him come in after a long day and then spend the entire evening working at his desk. Even as a child in the 50's, I could see that he was part businessman and part farmer! Over the years, Russ and Mary were invited guests at many of our significant family events; I have good memories of Russell's friendly personality. I am especially grateful for his kindness at my sister's burial at Willow Creek Cemetery.”
- Susan Christenson Mahoney
Thursday, January 3, 2019 at 8:01 AM
“Our deepest sympathies to all of your family! Russ was an amazing guy - a real legend!”
- Susan Christenson Mahoney & Mark Mahoney
Thursday, January 3, 2019 at 8:01 AM
“Russell Christensen Family - so sorry to hear of Russell's passing. Russell was a good customer of my father's (Cliff Fear of Fear Livestock Trucking) and I remember riding along with my dad when he would go out to the farm and Russ always had time to even talk with us kids. Prayers and may God guide you through this time.”
- Becky Fear Hatting
Wednesday, January 2, 2019 at 4:06 PM
“Russel was such a good friend of my father, Bob Porter! I so appreciated Russell’s concern at Dad’s funeral.”
- Suzan Porter Eilers
Wednesday, January 2, 2019 at 4:06 PM
“"And God made a farmer." Our sympathies and prayers.”
- Myra Coover
Wednesday, January 2, 2019 at 10:49 AM
“We are so sorry for your loss. You and your families are in our thoughts and prayers. ”
- Tami Diekmann
Tuesday, January 1, 2019 at 4:26 PM
“Russel was a well known farmer from Royal, IA.....admired by many. He and Mary were involved parents and gr. parents when I taught at CCE. Yes, I recall the smiles and words of kindness they shared. May God give the family peace and strength at this time and always. Praying for all of you
as you go through these difficult days. ”
- Bob & Audrey Schmidt
Monday, December 31, 2018 at 1:37 PM
“My sympathy to you, Jane, Sue, Jim and families.
Your dad was a beacon of good. He always had a smile and a kind word; my children loved him and your mom, they were so kind to them!”
- Mary Hagedorn Hanson
Monday, December 31, 2018 at 9:36 AM
“Jane, David and family,
We’re sorry to hear the news of your dad’s passing. Our condolences to all of you. I’m sure Russel is now united and Joyous to be with all his loved ones. RIP Russell”
- Jean Newman & family
Monday, December 31, 2018 at 9:36 AM
“Our sympathy to the entire family. ”
- Colleen and Bill Gerdeman
Monday, December 31, 2018 at 9:36 AM
“Our deepest sympathy to Russ’s family. We always enjoyed working with Russ & Mary in the cattlemen business. Both Clay County & Iowa State Cattlemen organizations lost a huge promoter.”
- John & Nancy Heuck
Monday, December 31, 2018 at 9:36 AM
“Jane, Sue, Jim and families,
My sincere sympathy to you on Russ' passing. The time we spent together blessed me in so many ways, from helping write his life story to coffee in Royal to drives to Peterson, andearning so much about farming. He will be

missed by many. ”
- Donna Gray
Saturday, December 29, 2018 at 1:47 PM
“So sorry to hear of Russells passing. He was always very good to me. I think of the trip we took to Joplin and West Plains to buy cattle. We had pick up trouble but he always had a smile and a twinkle in his eye. Great Man! Will be missed.”
- Joseph Eischeid
Saturday, December 29, 2018 at 12:01 PM
“Our sympathy to you all on the passing of your dad. Everett and Russ had so much fun together. As families we had many memories of them both. Prayers to you all

- Diane and Elayne Grapenthin
Saturday, December 29, 2018 at 11:24 AM
“Sorry to hear of Russell's passing. He was always good to us neighbor kids and didn't mind us tearing around his farm with the three wheeler. Always remember him stopping by and visiting with us no matter the time or how busy he was.”
- Josh Hagedorn
Saturday, December 29, 2018 at 11:24 AM
“Russ always charmed our kids during ball games with his smiles and wiggling his ears. He will be fondly remembered. You have our sympathy.”
- Murray and Karol Gafkjen
Saturday, December 29, 2018 at 11:23 AM
“Jane, Sue, Jim and families: Our condolences to you all. "Death leaves a heartache no one can heal, love leaves a memory no one can steal"- Irish Headstone....Just want you all to know that we are with you in prayer. Sue (Blaue) & Rick Brenden”
- Susan Brenden
Saturday, December 29, 2018 at 10:12 AM
“So sorry for your loss. Many fond memories of doing work for Russ. May
god keep you in his prayers.”
- Morris & Judy Rusch
Saturday, December 29, 2018 at 8:00 AM
“So sorry for your loss! He was a great fellow and will be missed by many! He was always ready to visit and shared his ideas! God bless his family at this time and know he walked with Jesus!”
- Nancy and Jim Hartmann
Saturday, December 29, 2018 at 7:59 AM
“A Life well-lived ~ A Legacy of Love left in your Hearts . . . Sending Blessings, Prayers, and Comfort to all of your Family ~”
- Molly Mulqueen
Friday, December 28, 2018 at 1:22 PM
“My deepest sympathies to this family !
He was a great man ! ”
- Rhonda Olson
Friday, December 28, 2018 at 11:23 AM
“Sue, Jane, Jim and families, we are so saddened to hear of your Dad's passing. He never ceased to make us smile and provided us with so many great memories of those little league & CCE baseball days. God's blessings to you now and always.”
- Mike & Renee Elbert
Friday, December 28, 2018 at 11:23 AM
“So many fond memories and stories. Thinking of you all and praying for peace and comfort.”
- Angie Hagedorn
Friday, December 28, 2018 at 8:11 AM
“Thoughts are with you all!”
- Dianne Binder
Friday, December 28, 2018 at 8:11 AM
“We just arrived at our daughters (12/27) for our Christmas. Just turned on computer and saw the news. So happy I was able to say hello to Russell on Christmas Day. I know he didn't respond but I know he felt my presents. We knew that day that time was short. Yes Russell lived a good farmers life. The farm was his life. Russell always remembered me and of course my name was always Donna Rae. Russel will be missed but now with his love of his life Mary. Wonderful couple . Sending our Love and Sympathy to the whole family Hugs. ”
- Chuck and Donna Tielbur
Friday, December 28, 2018 at 8:10 AM
“So sorry for your loss he was a great gentleman”
- Dorothy brons
Friday, December 28, 2018 at 8:10 AM
“I am so so sorry to hear of your loss. Russell was a truly good man whose integrity, loyalty, and kindness simply radiated from him. I have such fond memories of his smile and the twinkle he'd get in his eye. May God's peace surround you and I hope you find comfort in the legacy he left behind. ”
- Kirsten Hagedorn Frey
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