Alan J Christensen, age 72, flew high with angels and was called home on Christmas Day, December 25, 2021 at his home. He defied the odds of ALS (Lou Gehrig’s) and stayed strong through 8 years of the cruel, terminal disease.
A celebration of life visitation will be held on Wednesday, December 29, 2021 from 4-7pm at Bonnerup Funeral Home in Albert Lea. Funeral services will be held on Thursday, December 30, 2021 at 11am at First Lutheran Church, Albert Lea. Pastor Donald Rose will officiate. Family and friends may join us for a visitation 1 hour prior to the service. A private interment will be held at a later date.
Alan was born November 26, 1949 and raised in Albert Lea, MN. He went to high school at Albert Lea Senior High. He was diagnosed with Lupus in high school but stayed strong and went on to attend college at University of Minnesota Morris receiving a B.S. in Biology. His love for horses was born when he was at college and only grew from there. He loved Appaloosa’s from training them, riding them and boarding all kinds of horses at his farm “Ruo Tatibah” (Our habitat) that he and his Dad built together. He married his love of his life Ann Christensen (Katzung) on November 21, 1980 and they resided at the farm in Albert Lea, MN raising two daughters (Sally and Rachel) and many horses and animals along the way.
He was an entrepreneur at heart, a dreamer. He believed that anyone could do anything if they wanted. “Can’t” was not in his vocabulary. He believed in creating opportunities for yourself, helping those in the process and to always keep learning. He shared his love for horses by working at Pieper’s Western Store at an early age. He went on to teaching financial independence and leading teams of people through A.L. Williams and Primerica. Later, he used his science background and built a car to run on vegetable oil. He loved to share the love of food with people and created Back Forty Smokin’ Meats. He built a smokehouse on the farm and smoked various foods while creating special pairing sauces that he could share with his friends and family. His last adventures these past few years were managing Graceland Cemetery and trading stocks with his friend Jeff.
Alan loved his community and his friends, a social butterfly at heart with a contagious smile. He was a part of the Bancroft Township for many years always trying to help the community in any way he could. His family going many generations deep were a part of First Lutheran Church. He was an amazing singer and got to share his gift by joining the Spirit Express Choir at its infancy stages at the church.
Alan loved his wife Ann of 41 years. They shared many joys and struggles, but their love for each gave them strength to surpass every challenge that came their way. He was great with kids and being a Grandpa was an incredible joy for him. He loved all three of his grandkids, especially having them come to the farm and pick out the best and giant pumpkins around each Fall and having them ride the Go Kart all around the neighborhood – he got great joy and adventure through their smiles and giggles. He loved sports, watching, and listening to them any chance he got. He was a die hard Vikings and Twins fan. He also loved fishing up north and going on Salmon fishing excursions.
ALS robbed Alan of so many things, but the one thing that it couldn’t take away, was his ability to bring a smile, joy, positivity, laughter with a joke or two, and love to anyone that was around him. An amazing soul that will never be forgotten.
Alan is survived by his loving wife of 41 years Ann; two daughters, Sally (Dave) Olson and Rachel (fiancé Nate Lein); grandchildren, Jersie, Grayson and Sawyer Olson; brother, Jerry (Marcie) Christensen; brother-in-laws, Dave (Caryn) Katzung and Jim (Jill) Katzung; nieces and nephews, cousins and many dear friends.
Preceding him in death are parents, Earl (Irene) Christensen; his parents-in-law, Sylvester aka Sally (Bernice) Katzung and his sister, Patricia Christensen.
Oh, the last goodbye’s the hardest one to say and this is where the cowboy rides away.
LIVE STREAM INFORMATION: For those who would like to participate in Al's service via live stream, you can watch the service on Thursday, December 30, 2021 at 11:00 am. It can be viewed by scrolling to the bottom of this page, and "CLICK PLAY" to begin. Please leave a message of support on our Tribute Wall to let the family know you were able to watch the service. If you are having troubles with the Live stream, the service will be available to watch later in the day.