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Ethel Marie Christianson

Obituary Information

Service Details


Date: Tuesday, November 7, 2017

Time: 10:00-11:00 a.m.

Location: Red Oak Grove Lutheran Church


Date: Tuesday, November 7, 2017

Time: 11:00 a.m.

Location: Red Oak Grove Lutheran Church


Red Oak Grove Lutheran Cemetery


Ethel Marie Christianson (née Muenzell) was born in Tony, Wisconsin, April 7, 1923 to Albert and Mabel (Kaiser) Muenzell. Ethel passed peacefully at Prairie Manor Care Center at age 94, on November 1, 2017. Ethel and brothers Wesley and Ernest were raised on a small farm outside of Tony, Wisconsin.  In 1925 at age 2, Ethel lost her mother to sepsis. Three years later, her father married Verna Vanderlinden. In high school, Ethel was active in basketball, and President of the Girls Reserve.  After graduation from Tony High School, Ethel worked at Sparta State School in Sparta, Wisconsin.  She saved enough money to attend The Gale Institute and later The Minnesota School of Business in Minneapolis. Employment included secretarial work at Northwestern Bell Telephone Company and later for an attorney at Iowa Mutual Insurance Company. Ethel played on two women’s softball leagues while working in Minneapolis. In 1952, Ethel moved to Tokyo, Japan where she was employed by the Civil Service and cleared for top-secret cases. Ethel held this position for three years, traveling extensively through Asia and climbing Mt. Fujiyama.  While in Japan, Ethel enjoyed a variety of activities that included figure skating, early morning tennis, golf, flower arranging and doll making. Ethel returned to the states where IBM was opening a plant in Rochester, Minnesota. She worked as a secretary for the head of purchasing for two years. During that period, at age 35, Ethel was introduced to a farmer from Blooming Prairie, Ross Christianson. They married in 1959 and raised three children (Renae, Jay and Holly) on the Christianson farm. While on the farm, Ethel helped with farming and enjoyed flower and vegetable gardening. She also volunteered for the American Red Cross. Ethel loved making fancy holiday ornaments and poured decorative plaster items from her 500 molds for local gift shops. She loved going to the Austin Artist Series with dear friend Marj Christianson.  Ethel and Ross were members of Red Oak Grove Lutheran Church. She had a beautiful voice and sang for weddings and funerals alongside Nina Ingvalson and Lennie Evenson. She was also secretary for ALCW and WELCA, and enjoyed quilting for these groups.  Ethel re-entered the work force in her mid-50's, working as a secretary for the Administrator of Prairie Manor Nursing Home in Blooming Prairie for 12 years. Ethel loved to travel, and every summer planned family station wagon trips throughout the central, western and southern states and Mexico. She enjoyed travel to Alaska and Europe, and later fishing and paddle-boating at Lake Mazaska in Faribault. By adapting to many varied ways of life, Ethel had the ability to make everyone around her feel special.

Ethel is preceded in death by parents Albert and Mabel, stepmother Verna, brothers Wesley and Ernest, stepsister Nettie Shultz, stepbrother Clinton Mautner and husband Rosmon.  Ethel is survived by daughters Renae (Jim) Smith of Prior Lake, Minnesota, Holly (Steve) Ille of Blooming Prairie, Minnesota, son Jay Christianson of Los Angeles, California, grandchildren Carson and Paige Smith, Ryan Srsen, Alec and Isaac Ille, and great-grandson Brody Srsen.

Funeral services will be held at 11:00 a.m. on Tuesday, November 7, 2017 at Red Oak Grove Lutheran Church with Pastor Lindsay Stolen officiating.  Visitation at the church one hour prior to the service.  Interment will be in Red Oak Grove Lutheran Cemetery.  Memorials can be directed to Red Oak Grove Lutheran Church, or recipient of donor’s choice.  Services prearranged and performed by Worlein Blooming Prairie Funeral Home.





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