Dan L. Christensen died at his home in Blackfoot, May 26, 2013, from esophageal cancer.
He was born to Edith and Vestal Christensen at the Eaton Maternity Home in Shelley on Dec. 15, 1945. He attended Taylor Elementary School. The family moved to the 70 Bar Ranch in Chesterfield in 1959. He graduated from North Gem High School in Bancroft in 1963.
Dan worked on the Bancroft and Bone ranches until he was drafted into the Army, in 1964, but rather than join the Army, he chose to enlist in the Air Force. His basic training in airplane mechanics was at Lackland Air Force Base in Texas and from there he was assigned to Mountain Home Air Force Base. He was sent to Cam Rahn Bay in Vietnam in 1967 where the base perimeter was sprayed nightly with a high potency Agent Orange which was thought to be the cause of the cancer. From the heat of the jungle, he was sent to below zero temperatures in South Korea with his jungle attire and equipment until his next assignment at George Air Force Base in Victorville, Calif.
While he was stationed at George AFB, he worked his off-duty hours at the Apple Valley Ranch which was owned by Roy Rogers. He trained and groomed horses there and rode horses as well as worked as a jockey.
After finishing his tour of duty, he moved back to his beloved Idaho and worked at a variety of occupations. He was a draftsman, jockey and horse trainer, and owner of Portneuf Pipe before graduating from ISU in 1970 with a associate’s degree as a machinist. He worked for INEL for 10 years before opening his own machinist shop, Dune Technology, in Blackfoot with his son Brett. He worked there whenever his failing health allowed him until the few weeks before his death.
Dan married Judy Johnson in Firth on April 12, 1968. They have three children: Martin (Angie) and Brett (Sidia) of Blackfoot and Lee Brent (April) of Lovell, Wyo. His surviving brothers and sisters are Jack (Shirley) of Rigby, Mary Charlton of Kimberly, Ray (Nina) of Shelley, Helen Kelley (Gerald) of Shelley and Phil (Shirley) of Chesterfield. He is also survived by his mother-in-law, Deaun Johnson of Firth, and three brothers-in-law, Greg, Jeff, and Roddy Johnson.
Dan will be remembered as having a keen sense of humor and being a loving husband, father, and grandfather. It was often said that if you saw Dan, you saw his sons along his side. He especially loved hunting and fishing at his ranch on Sellers Creek.
Funeral services will be held at 11 a.m. Thursday, May 30, 2013 at Nalder Funeral Home (110 West Oak) in Shelley. The family will meet with friends Wednesday from 6-8 p.m. and Thursday morning 9:30-10:40 a.m. both at the funeral home.
Burial will be in the Taylor Cemetery with military rites by the David B. Bleak Post 93 of Shelley.
Condolences can be sent to the family at www.nalderfuneralhome.com .
The family would like to thank Dr. Shull and the staff at Snake River Oncology in Idaho Falls for their outstanding care and concern.