Traverse City Record-Eagle


November 4, 2012

Norman W. Christensen

SUTTONS BAY — Norman Wilfred Christensen, 94, of Suttons Bay, passed away on Thursday, Nov. 1, 2012, at Tendercare of Leelanau, surrounded by family.

Norman was born on May 31, 1918, the son of George and Helen (Olsen) Christensen. On March 14, 1942, he married Ruth Ann Hill, who survives.

Norman's grandparents migrated from Norway, settled in Point Oneida and then moved to Suttons Bay in 1899. His mother moved to Chicago, where Norman and his sister were born. Norman was just three-years-old when his father died. When he was nine his mother sent him to live on his grandparents' farm due to health issues.

Norman graduated from the Suttons Bay Stone School House and after graduation moved back to Chicago, where he met and later married Ruth.

Norman enlisted in the U.S. Army during World War II and served three years in the Philippines and New Guinea. During the war Norman thought a lot about moving back to Suttons Bay, and upon his honorable discharge he then packed up Ruth and their infant son, David, moved back and bought a cherry farm on Stoney Point.

Along with farming, Norman did various jobs at Flushwood Door and Parsons along with driving a Suttons Bay school bus for 23 years.

Norman was active for many years at Immanuel Lutheran Church.

His life was farming, gardening, hunting, fishing, being outdoors and most importantly, his family.

In addition to his loving wife of 70 years, Norman is survived by his children, Steve (Sarah) Christensen, Claudia (Bill) Hendry and daughter-in-law, LouAnn Christensen; eight grandchildren, Dustin (Jessie), Danielle (David), Ashley, Brooke, Ryan, Amy, Maritza and Ryan Gardner; and two great-grandchildren, Oliver Christensen and Eleanor Hendry Oller.

Norman was preceded in death by his son, David; and his sister, Evelyn McAra.

A memorial service will be announced in the spring.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests contributions may be directed to ShareCare, 7410 E. Duck Lake Road, Lake Leelanau, MI 49653 and/or to Immanuel Lutheran Church, PO Box 206, Suttons Bay, MI 49682.

Please share thoughts with Norman's family on their online guestbook at

Arrangements are with the Martinson Funeral Home of Suttons Bay.

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