Bernhard Phillip Christianson, 98
Bernhard Phillip Christianson, age 98, of Elderon passed away peacefully on Monday, November 6, 2017 under the care of his family and Aspirus Comfort Care and Hospice Services at Autumn Lane Retirement Home, Birnamwood. He was the last surviving child of Chester and Inga Christianson who raised a family of 12 children in Elderon. He was preceded in death by his Wife Irene, and three sons, George, Gerald, and David and one great-granddaughter.
Bernhard was an adventurous young man. Grandma Inga and Bernhard went to the DMV and at the age of 12 got his driver’s license. Grandma INSISTED and they gave it to him, because now he was the one in charge of keeping the farm running, as his father had passed away. Grandma knew she could depend on him because he would get things done. He was no stranger to hard work and always was the first to help when anyone needed it. He was an amazing story teller and had a quick wit and loved to make everyone smile. Bernhard loved to hunt and be in the woods as much as possible. He was an excellent marksman both with a gun and bow. He loved teaching his children and grandchildren to shoot a moving target. Even practicing with a water gun with his very young grandchildren.
At the age of 15 he “jumped the rails” from Eland Train station. He traveled on top of the train as a “hobo” and even under the train when the “bulls” got mean and threw hot and cold water on them to keep them off the train. He rode to Minnesota this way and worked in barley and wheat fields threshing crops. After a few months being hungry and tired he and a buddy bought an old car and drove back to Wisconsin.
There he continued to work on the farm until he met Irene. They were married on October 25, 1941. They built the house and barn together and made a home where they raised and trained their children to be productive and hard working. He was a proud father and husband. Bernhard said more times then we can remember that “Mommy” was still the most beautiful woman he ever met, even till the day she died on April 22, 2011 where he was by her side.
When Bernhard was a young child he had pneumonia, Grandma Inga prayed that if he survived she promised that he would become a minister. He did survive and he did become a minister of Jehovah’s Witness and was a faithful and active servant of Jehovah till his death.
Bernhard and Irene loved children, having 9 of their own. Surviving sons, Bernhard Christianson (Marlene), Joseph Christianson. Surviving daughters, Jewell Hoffmann (Larry), Yvonne Koon (Bob), Naomi Cannon (Bruce), Brenda Koon (David). Daughter-in-law Sonia Fox-Christianson. They had 20 grand children, 27 Great-grand children and 1 great-great grand daughter. Also many of their children’s friends considered Bernhard and Irene their adoptive parents as the home was a beehive of activity for so many years.
The memorial service will be held at 1PM Friday, November 17, 2017 at Kingdom Hall of Jehovah’s Witnesses, 626 Cty Rd N, Birnamwood. Inurnment will be held at a later date in Evergreen Rest Cemetery, Elderon. He wanted to be remembered as “A hard working farmer who never made a cent” said with a wink and a smile! He will be missed by so many.