Obituaries » Richard O Christiansen
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August 21, 1931 - March 31, 2021
Funeral Home Russon Mortuary Bountiful
Richard O. Christiansen, eternal companion of Marcia Ann Morgan Christiansen, returned to his heavenly home on March 31, 2021 after battling dementia and Alzheimer’s for several years. Son of Heber Joseph Christiansen and Emma Montez Ogden Christiansen, dad was born August 21, 1931 in Central Valley, Utah. The fourth of five children, dad was raised a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Following high school at South Sevier High, dad attended the University of Utah, then Brigham Young University, studying zoology. While at BYU, he met mom (of Sacramento, California). Both graduated from BYU and were married that same year on October 24, 1959. Their first home was in Brigham City, Utah where dad worked at Morton-Thiokol and mom taught elementary school. After 23 months of marriage, their first child, Stephen, was born. That day, dad was activated in the Berlin crisis and shortly thereafter dad, mom, and Steve moved to Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri. At the conclusion of the deployment, they returned to Bountiful, Utah where their remaining three children were born, Melanie, MaryAnn, and Collin. After 11 years in Bountiful, the family of six moved to Centerville, Utah where dad and mom lived for the next 44 years. In July 2018, dad and mom moved into Creekside Senior Living in Bountiful. Mom preceded dad in death, and now the two have rejoined and enjoy the companionship of departed loved ones. Dad is survived by his sister Marjorie Christiansen Gardner; his four children, Steve (Suzanne), Melanie Renstrom (Greg), MaryAnn Harrison (Rob), and Collin (Amy); and has been blessed with 23 grandchildren (including spouses) and 17 great-grandchildren. Preceded in death by siblings Hal Christiansen, William Christiansen and Patricia Christiansen Busk.
Dad was best known for his love of God, family, and country. His work ethic and his studious nature were also renowned. Dad taught his family the importance of being faithful to God and true to His commandments. Obedience was extremely important to him, and he lovingly encouraged others likewise. He served a faithful 3-year mission as a young man in Uruguay-Paraguay. Later in life, he and mom served three missions together in Adam-ondi-Ahman; Montevideo, Uruguay; and Sydney, Australia.
Once dad said, “I could never be the kind of dad that [my dad] was to me.” Though he may have felt inadequate as a father, his children felt he was the best and treasured time spent with him, working on projects or in the garden, discussing current events, going out to dinner or to get a caramel-marshmallow malt, or just talking. He truly was a wonderful father and family man. He loved unconditionally, and his relatively quiet demeanor helped him become a remarkable listener.
Dad spent 36 years in the U.S. Army Reserves, including time on active duty in the Korean conflict and the Berlin crisis. He rose to the rank of Major General, overseeing reserve officers and operations in seven western states. His service in the military was not superficial. His love for country sunk deep into his heart. Memories of his time in the military and growing up in southern Utah on the farm were the easiest to recall through the fog of Alzheimer’s. And patriotic music would always elicit some of the greatest emotion.
No one could work like dad. He loved to be engaged in a project of some sort. Those that required hard manual labor were his favorite. He grew up on a farm and was his dad’s partner in the fields, herding livestock, and milking the cows. The days were long but being equal to the responsibilities given him and working up a sweat were two of dad’s favorite things. Additionally, dad loved to read and learn. U.S. and world history, and religious books were his favorites. He was blessed with the gifts of memorization and public speaking and he used them frequently. His remarkable memory may have been due to becoming deaf in elementary school. After a couple of years with that disability, he received a priesthood blessing that restored his hearing.
Dad will be missed terribly, but we’re so grateful he’s been allowed to return to his heavenly home and eternal sweetheart, having “fought a good fight” and having “kept the faith.” We love you dad!
Funeral services will be held at the Centerville South Stake Center at 270 N. 300 E. on Wednesday, April 7th, at 2:00 p.m. A viewing will be held immediately preceding the funeral at 12:30 p.m. Interment will be at the Centerville City Cemetery (650 E. 400 S.) immediately following the funeral.
The funeral will be streamed live on Russon Mortuary & Crematory Facebook page for those unable or choosing not to attend in-person.
Heartfelt appreciation is extended to the staff at Creekside Senior Living (especially Brittany, Holly, Lejla, and Renate), and Renew Home Health and Hospice (especially Marina Fairbanks). In lieu of flowers, please donate to the Humanitarian Fund or the General Missionary Fund of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.