It is often said that a man is defined by the legacy he leaves. The legacy of Robert G. Christensen was built upon a foundation of strength, a stubbornness to carve his own path, a determination to master all life had to offer, and a deep love for the land he farmed and the family he raised. He would often say that he was a “jack of all trades, but a master of none.” The truth is, there was nothing in life that this man did not achieve — whether it was an exceptional bowler featured on TV in 1968, in “Bowling with the Champs,” having a perfect game, winning the club golf championship in 1970, building the town fixture, The Tasty Freeze, that grew into the town favorite, Bob and Kay’s Family Inn, and farming until the age of 87. However, Robert would say that his most significant accomplishment in life would be his marriage to his beloved Kay for 65 years, raising six successful children, and being grandfather to 17 and great-grandfather to 21 children — what a legacy indeed.
Robert G. Christensen died Nov. 27, 2017, in the home he built; he was 91. Bob was born on the family farm on Nov. 25, 1926, and was the son of the late Nels H. Christensen and Anna E. (Mueller) Christensen. He graduated from Westfield High School in 1943, and was a lifelong farmer.
He was preceded in death by his wife, Kay; his brothers, Nels, Verle, Cyril and Lyle; and his grandson, Christopher Buchholz. Bob is survived by his children — daughter Lana (husband Joe Kopach), grandchildren Kim (Pete) Lien, great-grandchildren Madison, Kelsey and Zoe, Nikki (Eric) Nelson; daughter Vicki (husband Larry McLaughlin), grandchildren Michelle (Craig) Wolff, great-grandchildren Brandon and Braylee, Jana (Justin) Dahms, great-grandchildren Breanna, Lexi, Jaxtin, and Coltin, Tyler McLaughlin; daughter Susan (husband Jim Buchholz), grandchildren Brigette (Tom) Field, Ali Buchholz and son/great-grandchild Tucker Buchholz, Danielle (Dan) Colling, great-grandchildren Kaitlynn, Emma, Evan and Avery; daughter Nancy (husband Russ Goldsmith), grandchildren Shanna (Jaime) Olivero, great-grandchildren Kaden, Kyler and Kayanna, Shane (Vanessa) Goldsmith; daughter Mary (husband Mike Mades), grandchildren Isaac, Hannah, and Haley; and son Andy (wife Jackie Christensen), grandchildren Amber (Jed) Vossekuil, great-grandchildren Gavin, Nolan, Westin, grandson Dustan Christensen, Zachary (Kalie) Christensen and great-grandson Korbin).
A Celebration of Life gathering for Bob will be held from 4 to 7:30 p.m. Friday, Dec. 1, at the Westfield Community Center, 129 E. 3rd St., Westfield. Please wear your favorite Packers, Badgers, Brewers or Pioneers gear to honor Bob.
A Mass of Christian Burial for Bob will be held at 11 a.m. Saturday, Dec. 2, at Good Shepherd Catholic Church in Westfield, with the Rev. Paulraj Sellam officiating. A visitation will be held from 9 to 10:45 a.m. Saturday at Steinhaus-Holly Funeral Home in Westfield. Inurnment will be in Westfield East Cemetery at a later date.
In lieu of flowers, memorials will be used toward a bench that will be placed at the Pioneer Memorial Park Splash Pad. Steinhaus-Holly Funeral Home and Cremation Service of Westfield is serving the family. For online obituaries and condolences, visit www.steinhaushollyfuneralhome.com.