PALMER — Gordon H. Christiansen, 89, passed away on April 23, with the love of his daughters by his side.
Born November 14, 1928 in Ware, he was the son of Harold H. and Ruth M. (Hale) Christiansen. Gordon was a graduate of Palmer High School, class of 1946 and then attended American International College. From 1948-1952 during the Korean War, he proudly served his country in the U.S. Army in the 802nd Engineer Aviation Battalion in Okinawa and Miyako-Jima, Japan and in England as a surveyor at Greenham Common, Berkshire, England.
During his time in England, he met and married his first wife, Edna R. (Mercado) in 1952 in Newbury, England. From 1953-1964, Gordon worked at General Electric and then continued his working career from 1964-1978 at Tambrands as a Purchasing Agent. In 1977, Gordon was predeceased by his wife Edna. He later met and married his second wife, Irene S. (Baldyga) Les in 1979.
As a Christmas Tree grower in his spare time, Gordon was well known for owning and operating Christiansen Tree Farm from 1956-2001, where he was also a member and past director of the Massachusetts Christmas Tree Association. Gordon was very active in his community and a land developer and was on the Palmer Board of Selectman for five years, past member of Palmer Public Library Association, past member of Wing Memorial Hospital Association, life member of Lake Thompson Civic Association, and past member of finance committee of Palmer Fire & Water District #1.
As a lifetime member of St. Paul’s Universalist Church, he was past chairman and member of board of trustees, past collector, past Sunday school superintendent, past president of Connecticut Valley District Unitarian Universalist Association and for over 30 years, and past member of finance committee. He also was past member purchasing management Association of Western New England and proud to be an Eagle Scout, Troop 161. Gordon was a chairman of Indian Heritage Day events held in 1971 and 1991.
In his leisure, he was an avid bow and arrow deer, bear, elk and caribou hunter along with fishing. He always enjoyed sharing his love of hunting and trapping by touring library’s to give presentations about Predators with all his pelts.
In 2013, Gordon was predeceased by his second wife, Irene. He will be missed by his three daughters, Karen King and John Fearing of Monson, Diane France and Mark France of Palmer, Ingrid Thompson and her husband Warren Thompson also of Palmer. Gordon also leaves his step daughter, Terri Les Ainsworth and her husband Charles of Colorado, as well as 11 grandchildren, Jeffrey and wife Elizabeth King of Colorado, Jennifer King Rocketfield of Monson, Jarrod Thompson of Palmer, Chad and wife Sara Thompson of Florida, Andrew and wife Jemma Thompson of Thorndike, Erin and husband Tyler Pinstein of Manchester by the Sea, Tyler France of N.Y., Leah France of California, Talin France of Maryland, and step grandchildren Keith and Nathan Ainsworth of Colorado. Gordon also leaves behind 13 great grandchildren. Gordon was also predeceased by his brother, George Christiansen, sister, Dorothy Poirier and great granddaughter, Harlow Rocketfield.
The family would like to give a special heartfelt thanks to the staff at Orchard Valley of Wilbraham and Ascend Hospice Staff for the wonderful care and love they gave Gordon while he was a resident there.
Visitation will be Friday, May 4 from 4-7 p.m. at the Beers & Story Palmer Funeral Home with a memorial service Saturday May 5 at 10:30 a.m. at St. Paul’s Unitarian Church on Central Street in Palmer. Kindly meet directly at the church on Saturday. Burial with military honors and Native American Ceremony will follow in Oak Knoll Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Palmer Historical Cultural Center, 2072 Main St., Three Rivers, MA 01080.