Loretta Christensen, 97, of DeKalb, formerly of Maple Park, passed away Monday, March 11, 2013, at the DeKalb County Rehabilitation and Nursing Center, where she had recently made her home.
She was born Oct. 6, 1915, in Maple Park, the daughter of Nels and Hansine (Olesen) Larsen.
She grew up in Maple Park and attended local schools. Loretta graduated from Maple Park High School in 1933. While still in high school, Loretta moved in with Charles and Lillie Christensen. After high school, she stayed and worked for the family by helping on the farm. After Lillie’s passing, Loretta helped to raise the children, as well. The bond formed between she and Charlie grew naturally into love and before long, they were united in marriage 1939.
Loretta and Charlie continued to farm and raise a family. After the kids were raised, they left the farm and moved to Libertry Street in Maple Park. She continued to live there after Charlie’s passing in 1974 until declining health brought her into the care Heritage Woods in DeKalb in 2010.
Without the fields and livestock to tend, Loretta found work as a cook at the Little Traveler in Geneva for a time. Later, she worked at the Maple Park Cafe. She also cleaned local homes before becoming a nanny for a family in Geneva for 20 years.
She was a faithful member (one of the longest serving, in fact) of Grace United Methodist Church in Maple Park.
Her baking was legendary and longstanding as she baked until her 93rd birthday. The pies that graced the tables at Maple Park Legion fish fries and bake sale were mouthwatering and always in demand.
She also had a great talent and love for crocheting beautiful baby clothes and blankets.
She is survived by her stepdaughter, Helen Schramm and her family of Hampshire, Ill.; stepson, Phillip Christensen and his family of Thailand; one step-great-granddaughter, Karen Stephan and her son, Cole Daniel Stephan, of Alaska; one brother, Alfred Larson of Florida; sister-in-law, Madonna Wise of Colorado, many nieces, nephews and a community of friends.
She is preceded in death by her beloved husband Charlies; parents, Nels and Hansine Larsen; two sisters, Marion and Metta; three brothers, Claude, Edward and Robert; two step-sons, Burdette and Windel; and one step-granddaughter, Judy Christensen.
Visitation will take place from 12:30 to 1:45 p.m., with a funeral to follow at 2 p.m., on Thursday, March 14, at Grace United Methodist Church, 506 Willow St., Maple Park. Rev. Eun Young Ko, pastor of the church, will officiate, with interment to follow at Gardner Cemetery, Maple Park.
In lieu of flowers, a memorial has been established in Loretta’s name to benefit her favorite charities. Checks may be made to the “Loretta Christensen Memorial” and mailed in care of P.O. Box 66, Elburn, 60119. Tributes may also be forwarded to the same address or on the web at www.conleycare.com, where you can also find her full-life story.