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Funeral Arrangements

Tuesday, February 24, 2004

Chris P. Christensen

October 11, 1954 - February 15, 2004

Chris P. Christensen, age 69, of Storm Lake, died Sunday, February 15, 2004, at the Sid Peterson Memorial Hospital in Kerrville, Texas following a sudden illness.

Funeral services for Mr. Christensen were held Sunday, February 22, at the Storm Lake United Methodist Church. Burial with full military honors by Amvets Post 66 was in the Storm Lake Cemetery, under the direction of the Fratzke & Jensen Funeral Home in Storm Lake.

Those wishing to send condolences to the family on-line may do so via the Fratzke & Jensen Funeral Home website: www.fratzkejensen.com.

Chris Peter Christensen was born on October 11, 1934 to Chris and Gladys (Andrews) Christensen in Little Sioux Township near Mapleton, Iowa. He spent his childhood in his parents' home on Crow Island near Blencoe. He attended country schools and then Mapleton High School. In 1958, Chris attended Masonry School and later taught classes at that same school for three winters.

Chris served his country with pride in the United States Army as an MP from December of 1954 until October of 1957, when he was honorably discharged with the rank of Spec. 4. During his time in the Army, he spent duty time guarding the Panama Canal.

On August 14, 1956, he was united in marriage to Janette Lind at Fort Polk, Louisiana. Their union was blessed with a son, Rick.

Chris was a bricklayer by trade. While still an apprentice, he was promoted to a foreman position. He was a master of many tasks, always making or inventing something to fill a need. He prided himself on finding solutions for problems. In his career, Chris was involved in the construction of many prominent high-rise buildings, most notably the Brooks Tower and the Brooks Twin Tower in downtown Denver, as well as and the Eisenhower Tunnel in the Rocky Mountains.

In 1981, Chris and Jan moved back to Storm Lake from Colorado and he enjoyed working for Paul Park Construction. A most memorable project was the Buena Vista Victory Arch. The Arch was constructed from the remains of the Old Main archway. Old Main was the principal building on campus until it was destroyed by fire in 1956. Chris helped to build the Victory Arch at the southeast corner of Chapel lawn, where it stood for many years before it was rebuilt atop the Harold Walter Siebens School of Business/Siebens Forum during 1984-85. It was there that once again he helped to rebuild the Arch. Chris enjoyed having played a role in the history of the Arch, which has become a symbol linking the past to the present on BV's campus.

Chris retired in 1998, but true to form, continued to find projects to keep himself busy. He liked relaxing while he listened to country music, and was well known for always wearing his flannel shirts. He and Jan enjoyed their retirement, traveling and spending winters in Texas.

Left to cherish Chris' memory are his wife Jan of Storm Lake; his son, Rick and wife Vicki Christensen of Deer Trail, CO; two brothers: Arnold and wife Delores Christensen of Grand Rapids, MN and Walt Christensen of Denver, CO and his special friend Faye Pace of Kerrville, TX; two sisters: Ramona Wiley of Newcastle, CO and Jeannie Skinner of Colorado Springs, CO; his sister-in-law: Josie and husband Dean Ellingson of Storm Lake; cousins: Kathryn Kruse of Soldier, Juanita and husband Martin Thies of Mapleton, Laura Fitzpatrick of Danbury, Norman and wife Donna Christensen of Mapleton and Martin and wife Mary Ann Christensen of Sun City, AZ; many nieces, nephews and numerous extended family members and friends.

Preceding Chris in death were his parents, Chris and Gladys Christensen.

Don Gosch

July 9, 1932 -

February 9, 2004

Donald John "Don" Gosch, 71, a retired consumer research analyst, died in his sleep at home Monday, Feb. 9, 2004, in Arlington.

The family conducted a private service in Dallas-Fort Worth National Cemetery on Feb. 13.

Memorials: The family suggests that expressions of love may be directed as contributions in memory of Don Gosch to a charity of choice, or to the Don and Rosemary Gosch Memorial Fund benefiting the medical needs of Irish musicians and their families, Box 1199, Fort Worth, Texas 76101.

The son of August "Gus" and Mildred Williams Gosch, Don was born July 9, 1932, and was raised in Schaller. Gus Gosch and his brother-in-law established the Swanson & Gosch farm implement business in Schaller. Under a succeeding partnership, the concern became Swenson & Gosch.

Don was a local athletic phenomenon. He wasn't the only Schaller Rocket to letter in football, basketball and baseball. But Don continued to letter after surviving a 1948 bout with polio. He subsequently hit the field a step slower and with a bit of a limp, and his later years were marked by some polio-specific aches and pains, but Don never considered surrendering his independence.

Don was a good-field no-hit bullpen catcher and scorer for the semi-pro Schaller Red Caps. Traveling with the Red Caps ignited Don's passion for the game of baseball. For the past 15 years or so, Don frequently greeted the arrival of March with ventures to Florida and Arizona for the relaxed atmosphere of the major league spring training camps.

Don interrupted his pursuit of a degree at the University of Iowa at Iowa City to serve the nation in the final stages and aftermath of the Korean conflict.

Don returned to Iowa City to complete his degree, and while still enrolled began his career with the A.C. Nielsen Co., based in Chicago, III., with stays in South Carolina; Sioux Falls, S.D.; Minneapolis, Minn.; and Omaha, Neb. His daughter, Chris, was born in 1961.

In 1975, Don married Rosemary Rowley McBride of Arlington. Rosemary was an educator and program administrator for children with learning disabilities, who eventually took up a second career as an accountant for small-business owners.

Don accepted Rosemary's children as his own, parenting her son Dan and daughter Leigh first in Omaha and then upon the family's return to Arlington. As Dan says, "Don never, ever referred to us as his stepchildren. We were always his kids."

Rosemary and Don fueled each other's zest for life, with annual travel adventures to Ireland, Hawaii, Mexico, Maine and the Caribbean. They also enjoyed their annual summer trek to "Popcorn Days" in Schaller, and to visit Chris and her sons in Minnesota.

Don and Rosemary met many of their closest friends, including internationally renowned musical artists, as volunteers at the North Texas Irish Festival. Because Don had been adopted as an infant, his ancestral "blood" lineage was unknown. So Don adopted Ireland as his second homeland, and embraced Irish culture as his own.

While Don chauffeured the festival's guest artists between airport, hotel and sound stage - and sat in on their all-night jams - Rosemary hosted the troubadours, balladeers and step-dancers in their Airstream "VIP lounge."

Their romance took a series of dramatic turns following Don's retirement in 1992: Rosemary's diagnosis of breast cancer in 1993 and Don's traumatic brain injury a year later, when a bobtail truck ran a red light in Arlington.

Rosemary succumbed in April 2003 and Don did his best to adjust to the loneliness. A week before his death, Don revisited the days and nights of Irish celebration on a Caribbean cruise organized by the O'Flaherty Brothers of New Orleans' famed Irish Channel concert hall. Don's parents also preceded him in death.

Survivors: Daughter, Chris Gosch Haverty of Hopkins, Minn.; stepdaughter, Leigh McBride Graviss of Broken Arrow, Okla.; stepson, Dr. Dan McBride of Denton; stepson, Gray McBride of Fort Worth; Chris' sons, Austin and Wyatt; Leigh's husband, Tom, and children, Kathryn, Jessica and Nick; Dan's wife, Marlene and children, Aaron and Amelia; sister, Mary Jane Urban and her family; the families of Rosemary's three sisters; and cherished friends and family across the country, who can't help but smile at the memory of a good man named Don Gosch.