After losing his second wife 18 months ago, Dennis William Christensen continually asked his daughter, “When will I receive my marching orders?” He finally received his call home on Sunday, July 16th, 2023. All who knew Dennis loved his humor, his faithfulness to his Savior Jesus Christ and zest for living life to its fullest.
Dennis was born May 2nd, 1932 in Taber, Alberta, Canada to Frederick William Christensen and Robina Kirkpatrick. Frederick's family emigrated from Salt Lake City to Taber to homestead land available for $1.00 an acre while Robina, who was born in Horbury, England, immigrated from England to Taber with her parents.
Sadly, Dennis' mother, Robina, died of colon cancer when he was just 14. His father had grappled with depression for nearly two decades after their oldest daughter, Marion, passed away from appendicitis. The decision was made to send Dennis and his younger sister, Sheila, to live with his paternal grandmother who happened to live next door to Colin Miller's family. Throughout the years, Dennis often recounted the positive influence the Miller family had on his life. Colin and Dennis remained lifelong friends, eventually raising families only a few blocks from each other.
Taber’s newest school teacher, Colleen Prince, arrived in town and Dennis was smitten. They were sealed December 20th, 1951 in the Cardston, Alberta Temple, just three weeks before he left to serve a mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Denmark, his ancestral home. A year later, Colleen was called as a full-time missionary in the British Mission. Two years later, Colleen took a ferry to Denmark. As newly-released missionaries and finally back together, they spent a month traveling through Denmark, much of Europe, and England before returning to Canada via the SS United States. Dennis liked to say Colleen had a beautiful voyage home, but he was so seasick he never left their cabin.
Dennis and Colleen moved to Calgary in September 1954 “with only 25 dollars but plenty of hope and faith in the future”, and Dennis began selling new homes. He was finding success but concerned about his job satisfaction long-term. In a chance meeting with N. Eldon Tanner, Dennis asked him about getting a university education. Eldon offered Dennis a sales position with a British mining company opening a new lime plant in Alberta. Dennis accepted, and his career in the mining industry began. A quick learner, Dennis leveraged his mining and geology knowledge to work for Kennecott, Christensen Diamond Products, Continental Lime, and as an entrepreneur.
Dennis and Colleen adopted Brenda in 1959 and Marsha in 1965. Their daughters brought them untold happiness and joy. Dennis moved the family to Bountiful, Utah in 1967, and he lived there until his death.
Dennis and Colleen loved to travel, driving their family to Canada every summer to enjoy family reunions and the magnificent beauty of his home country. He also enjoyed fishing, golfing and chasing deer out of his yard with his slingshot.
Dennis lost his beloved companion Colleen to cancer in 2003. She was the light of his life, his doting companion and he would do anything to make her smile. They spent many happy years together doing the things they loved, and when she was gone Dennis could barely breathe. As a family, we love picturing their joyful reunion.
Dennis’ friend,Ted Haynes, introduced him to Marie Stevenson in 2004 in Magrath, Alberta. He was blessed to find another wonderful companion for these later years. They were married in 2005, spending summers in Magrath and winters in Bountiful. He was convinced Marie would outlive him, but she passed away in 2022. Marie liked to say “getting old is for the birds, and I don't tweet worth a darn”. Marie’s love and care for Dennis was exemplary to all who crossed their path.
Dennis was devoted to his faith and served in many callings, but his favorites were with the youth and as bishop to the good people of the Bountiful 34th ward. He steadfastly served with Colleen in the Bountiful Temple and in the South Davis Community Hospital Branch, as well as a senior mission together in Denmark.
Dennis’ true joy came from spending time with his grandchildren and great-grandchildren. He cheered them on in all of their pursuits and they all love and adore their Grandpa D and GG. He was a favorite uncle to many of his nieces and nephews. Most will remember him “picking them up” by their ears or seeing him “pull” off his thumb.
Dennis is survived by his sister Sheila (Jerry) Palmer, daughters Brenda (Stu) Smith and Marsha (Will) Naegle, grandchildren Joshua (Melissa) Smith, Jennifer Smith, Natali (Phil) Ruban, Nathan (Natalie) Naegle, Preston (McKell) Naegle, Andrew (Emily) Naegle, and many great-grandchildren.
Dennis appreciated Season, Kayla, Dr. Sam Wilson and other staff from Aspen Home Health and Hospice and his family are so grateful for their compassionate care of Dennis.
Funeral services will be held at 11:00 a.m., Friday, July 21st, 2023 at the Bountiful 34th Ward, 540 North 1200 East Bountiful, Utah at 11:00 am., where a viewing before from 9:45-10:45 am. Interment will follow at Lakeview Cemetery in Bountiful, Utah
Services will be streamed live on the Russon Mortuary & Crematory Facebook page and on this obituary page. The live stream will begin 10-15 minutes prior to the services and will be posted below.