Memorial Services for Raymond Christoffersen will be held at 10:00 AM Saturday, July 20. Pastor Jan Martin will officiate at the service at Froid Lutheran Church, with military honors following the service. Private interment of cremated remains in Big Lake Cemetery, east of Homestead, will be held at a later time. Ray died Wednesday evening, July 10, 2013 at Roosevelt Medical Center in Culbertson after a brief hospitalization; he was 86.
Raymond Neil Christoffersen was born at Lake Preston, South Dakota July 26, 1926 to Alfred and Hattie (Hanson) Christoffersen. He attended a rural school there for eight years, and attended high school in Lake Preston for one year. In 1942 he moved to Froid, Montana where he worked for his uncles Ewald and Holger Christoffersen, and completed his sophomore and Junior years at Froid High School. In 1944 he volunteered for military service, and served in Europe with the U.S. Army’s 106th Infantry Division. While he was overseas, his mother died, and in August, 1946 Ray was Honorably discharged as a Specialist 5, and returned to South Dakota. His father was hospitalized, so Ray cared for his younger brother and sister, as well as operating the family farm. After his father’s death at the Fort Snelling Veteran’s hospital in Minneapolis in March, 1947, Ray returned to Froid, where he started farming. He married Iris Ester Overland in 1951; they had 6 children before her death in August, 1971.
Although Ray never finished high school, he was a certified journeyman blacksmith, and also highly skilled as a welder, machinist, mechanic, electrician, carpenter, mastering many skills, some of which have almost become lost arts in today’s world. He worked for Herb Base as an electrician, for the Farmers Union Oil Company and for Steve’s Chevrolet as a blacksmith, machinist, and mechanic; and also worked on road construction, plumbing, did boiler work, was a custom combiner . . . Ray did it all, as well as taking care of his own farm work!
Ray is survived by three sons, Steven Christoffersen, of Lincoln, Nebraska; Robert Christoffersen, of Froid; James Christoffersen, of Dickinson, North Dakota; and a daughter, Elizabeth Bartlett and her husband Bill, of Billings; by three grandchildren and 5 great-grandchildren as well as by a sister, Carol Lebsack, of Denver, Colorado. Survivors also include numerous nephews and nieces. Besides his wife, Iris, and his parents, Ray was preceded in death by two sons, Owen, in 1991 and Neal, in 2000; and by a sister, Jeannette Gade, and three brothers: Warren, Harold and Alfred (“Bud”) Christoffersen.