Agnes Marian Christianson, 84, of Rochester, Minnesota, passed away on Saturday, March 9, 2013, at Seasons Hospice. Agnes was born March 21, 1928, near Thompson, Iowa, to Helmer and Ruth Peterson. The family later moved to Forest City, Iowa. She attended country school and graduated from Forest City High School in 1945 and Waldorf College in 1947.
Agnes taught elementary school in Clarion, Iowa, for two years. On June 27, 1949, she married J. Gordon Christianson of Scarville, Iowa, at Immanuel Lutheran Church in Forest City, Iowa. Gordon had just graduated from Luther College. They both began teaching in Ledyard, Iowa, and continued there until 1953. They took teaching jobs for two years at the Seneca School near Fenton, Iowa, before moving to Grafton, Iowa in 1955 and later Saint Ansgar, Iowa. In 1964, they moved to Decorah, Iowa, where Agnes was a teacher's aide and Gordon was the superintendent for North Winneshiek Schools.
Agnes belonged to Immanuel Lutheran Church in Forest City, then Emmanuel Lutheran Church in Grafton, then Norwegian Lutheran Church in Saint Ansgar. She joined Good Shepherd Lutheran Church upon moving to Decorah, and was active in the Ruth Circle and altar guild. In 2001, Agnes and Gordon moved to Rochester to be near their children and grandchildren. Agnes loved being a part of Zumbro Lutheran Church, where she could worship with her daughters' families and watch grandchildren in scouts and church activities.
A teacher by trade, Agnes was a compassionate and loving mentor for her daughters and grandchildren. Her hobbies included reading, tending to her flowers and plants, baking, and traveling. She enjoyed opening their home to many out of town guests attending Luther College events, students in the Norwegian Student Exchange Program, and their many friends and relatives. She was an extraordinary mother and grandmother, and left a precious gift for her family in the form of a journal detailing her life and highlights of theirs.
Agnes and Gordon had three girls. Marcia (Charlie) Mahlman of Rochester; Joan Renae Christianson, deceased; and Mary (James) Hansen of Rochester. She is survived by five grandchildren: Jennifer Brumm of San Francisco, CA; Andrew Brumm of Los Angeles, CA; and Amanda Hansen, Matthew Hansen, and Lizzy Hansen, all of Rochester. She is also survived by her sister Vivian Jacobsen of Minnetonka, Minnesota; brother-in-law Paul (Ethel) Christianson of Lake Mills, Iowa; and sister-in-law Donna (Rev. Clarence) Baalson of Clear Lake, Iowa. She is also survived by many nieces and nephews. She was preceded in death by her parents, sisters Ann and Arlene, and daughter Joan at age 2.
A funeral service will be held at 2 pm on Tuesday, March 12, 2013 at Zumbro Lutheran Church, 624 Third Avenue SW in Rochester, with the Reverend Shelley Cunningham officiating. Visitation will be held Noon to 2 pm prior to the service on Tuesday, March 12th at Zumbro Lutheran Church. Agnes has donated her body to the Mayo Clinic for research and education.
Memorials are suggested to Zumbro Lutheran Church and Brighter Tomorrows (brightertomorrowshope.org). Online condolences can be left at www.caringbridge.org/visit/AgnesChristianson.