Cover photo for Wilhelm J. Christensen's Obituary
Wilhelm J. Christensen Profile Photo
1927 Wilhelm 2012

Wilhelm J. Christensen

December 27, 1927 — October 7, 2012

Wilhelm Johannes (W.J.) Christensen, 84, lifelong resident of Pocatello passed away on October 7, 2012 at his home in Pocatello.

Bill was born on December 27, 1927 in Pocatello, the son of Danish immigrants Evald Winkler and Martha (Nielsen) Christensen. He was born in his grandmother's house on N. Hayes. Bill grew up and attended St. Joseph and Lincoln grade schools, Irving Jr. High and graduated from Pocatello High School in 1946. In his last two years of high school he carried 3 subjects and worked for the railroad from 4 P.M. to midnight as a call boy, riding his bike all over Pocatello calling conductors, engineers and porters and waiters (that had no phones) to go out on certain trains at certain times.
After high school he joined the Navy and served for two years where he learned welding both above and below water. He also learned brazing, silver solder, sheet metal work and plumbing.

After honorable discharge from the Navy he decided to follow construction for his career. He started out by going to work for C.H. Elle Construction in 1948 where he worked on projects at Simplots, Pocatello Housing, The Bannock Memorial Hospital, Reed Gym, Soda Springs Elementary and two additions on Soda Springs High School where he was the foreman. He then went to work for Jess Coffin and built many houses and service stations.

In 1954 he began working for Mitchell Construction as the general superintendent. Some of the projects he supervised were many service stations and schools including Highland High School, Thomas Middle School in American Falls, Burley High School, Paul High School and Jerome High School. He also supervised many buildings at ISU including the Mini-Dome, Christensen Trade Building, The Diesel Shop, Garrison Hall, Student Housing, the Tennis Courts, the Credit Union and the ISU Student Union. He was also in charge of six large buildings at Boise State Prison and the Libraries at Boise State College and Dillon, Mt. College. He also worked on the Raft River Geo-Thermo project and many jobs at the INEL to name a few.

He then went to work for Stucki Miller as the estimator and foreman on roofing, drywall, acoustic tile and metal stud framing. After that he went to work for Klug and Smith as foreman on the Anheuser-Busch Plant in Idaho Falls. After retirement he received a lifetime free membership in the carpenters union for 50 years of continuous service.

He knew how to fix anything, making it beautiful and functional. He also enjoyed carving small wood animals and Santas. He also made knives and gave them to friends and family who appreciated his talent and skill.
He met Dixie Marie Liblin and they were married on June 27, 1954 at Grace Lutheran Church in Pocatello. They later became members of Good Shepherd Lutheran Church and helped with various projects.

Bill loved hunting and fishing and all things outdoors. He enjoyed many trips to Island Park and stayed in the family cabin that he built in 1965. When not hunting or fishing, Bill could always be found tending his garden, from which he supplied many families with fresh produce. He also enjoyed making bread and sharing it with friends. He liked to play pool at the senior citizens center and he enjoyed reading books about the west.

He is survived by his wife, Dixie of 58 years; a daughter, Tina Christensen, Pocatello; a son, Brad (Kristi) Christensen of Pocatello; two granddaughters, Katie Udy of Woodbine, Georgia and Michelle Christensen of Pocatello; an honorary granddaughter Allegra of Brunswick, Georgia; a nephew Larry Chambers and a niece Linda McCloskey of Seattle, WA. and his dog Sam. He was preceded in death by his parents, Evald and Martha and his sister, Ruth.
Those that knew Bill respected him for his integrity, honesty, work ethic and being a man of his word.

Bill, rest in peace, hunt and fish often and enjoy the company of those who went before you.

In lieu of flowers, donations can be made in Bill's name to Grace Lutheran School or Portneuf Animal Welfare Society, P.O. Box 1603, Pocatello, Id. 83204.
The family would like to take this opportunity to thank all the special people at the Cancer Center, Dr. Ririe, Dana and the I.V. therapy staff and for the love and support from Alliance Hospice who helped care for Bill " especially Peter, Larry, Dianne, Donna, Danny and Mary. Your kindness was appreciated.

Please take a moment to share your condolences in the Guestbook; submit a story or memory of Wilhelm in Stories; and photos of him in the Gallery.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Wilhelm J. Christensen, please visit our flower store.


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