Maxine Frances Christensen, the daughter of Francis Xavier and Ethel Emeline (Parker) Stager, was born March 14, 1921, at her parent’s home in Oakfield Township near Brayton, Iowa and died March 15, 2017, at the Audubon County Memorial Hospital in Audubon, Iowa at the age of 96 years and one day.
Maxine was baptized in the Methodist Church in Anita, Iowa, attended the Bible Baptist Church, and then later became a member of the Brayton Lutheran Church in Brayton, Iowa. She attended the Anita Community Schools, graduating early with the high school class of 1937. During high school she was the best short hand writer and transcriber in the class. She also won many contests for her typing skills. In 1938, Maxine graduated from the Commercial Extension of Omaha with a secretarial accreditation. Living in Anita, she helped her parents in their café and worked as a bookkeeper at the local implement dealers for several years and also worked part time as a filing clerk for Burke Brothers hog buyers. In 1940 she started working at the West Iowa Telephone Company and was also a secretary at the Forshay Insurance Office. In 1943 she was promoted to chief operator and bookkeeper at the telephone office and only worked part time at the insurance office.
On August 29, 1945, she was united in marriage to Martin Dale Christensen at the Methodist Church in Anita by Pastor Merrill Summerbell. Four sons, Frederick Dale, Steven March, Frank Martin, and Max Corey were born to this union. They operated their family farm, which they later purchased, where they grew row crops and raised livestock. Maxine helped Dale on the farm and over the years worked as a correspondent for the Atlantic News Telegraph, the Des Moines Register, the Omaha World Herald, the Anita Tribune, the Elk Horn Review, and later the Audubon County Journal. Maxine had many of her articles published in various magazines and also did feature writing. In 1975 she authored the Anita Centennial Book, wrote a family history book and a genealogical book. During the early 1980’s, Maxine was a desk clerk at the Best Western Motel in Atlantic. In 1991, Maxine and Dale retired from farming and moved into Exira. Dale died on March 13, 1998. Maxine lived in her home until she moved to the Exira Care Center in 2016.
Maxine was a member of the Brayton Lutheran Church. She served as President of the P.T.A. in 1958. She was a member of the Anita Alumni Association and served as secretary for several years and was the Treasurer of the Anita Cemetery Board for a few years. She was an active member of the Exira Red Hat Firecrackers and enjoyed all of their activities. Maxine and Dale loved to dance and were members of the Val Air Ballroom Dance Club and the Peony Park Dance Club. She enjoyed writing, sewing, and scrapbooking. But most of all she enjoyed spending time with her family.
Maxine was preceded in death by her husband M. Dale Christensen; her parents; her brother Max Stager; and sister Evelyn and husband John Johnson; and her sisters-in-law Ruby and husband Harold Kuchel and Irene and husband John Larsen.
Survivors include her sons: Frederick D. and wife Vicki Christensen of Anita, Iowa, Steven M. and wife Karen Christensen of Pine Bluffs, Wyoming, Frank M. and wife Mary Christensen of Sartell, Minnesota, and Max C. and wife Lisa Christensen of Perry, Iowa; her 19 grandchildren Eric Christensen, Clint Christensen, Shauna Holaday, Matt Christensen, Duane Christensen, Julie Friedrichsen, Suzanne Christensen, Rebecca Nate, Carl Christensen, Carrie Carr, Sonia Christensen, Anna Taylor, Robert Christensen, Edward Christensen, Samuel Christensen, Benjamin Christensen, Olivia Christensen, Isaiah Christensen, and Stephanie (Workman) Kruse, 37 great grandchildren; and 1 great-great grandchild.; numerous nieces, nephews, other relatives and many friends.
The family met on Friday evening, March 24, 2017, at 4 p.m. at the Kessler Funeral Home in Exira, Iowa. Funeral services were conducted by Pastor Steven Frock on Saturday morning, March 25, 2017, at 10:30 a.m. at the Kessler Funeral Home in Exira. Interment was in the Exira Cemetery in Exira. The casket bearers were Steven Christensen, Max Christensen, Duane Christensen, Carl Christensen, Eric Christensen, and Clint Christensen. The family prefers memorials to the Exira Care Center, the Brayton Lutheran Church, and the Exira Red Hat Firecrackers.