Kenneth Robert “Kenny” Christensen passed away peacefully surrounded by family on August 2, 2016 at San Juan Hospital, at the age of 86.
Kenneth Robert Christensen was born September 4, 1929 in Monticello, UT to Robert Neldon and Myrtle Dalton Christensen. He was later joined by Joanne, Clyde, and Barbara.
When Kenny was young he helped his grandfather, Elmer Dalton, herd cows and rode with his grandfather Christensen delivering mail to Bluff.
In high school, he played basketball. During the summers, Kenny worked as a cowboy for Scorup and Sommerville . He had a great admiration for Rulon Sommerville, and really looked up to him.
After graduating from high school, he attended Carbon College for a short time, then went to work for the State Road Department.
On November 21, 1950, he was drafted into the US Army, served in active duty in the Korean War, and was honorably discharged on February 15, 1952.
While in the service, he received the Bronze Star, Korean Service Medal, UN Service Medal, and the Distinguished Unit Star, and made the rank of Sgt.
Returning home from the army, Kenny went back to work for the State Road Department, and while working on the highway south of Blanding at Comb Ridge, he was involved in a huge rock slide.
His legs were injured. This lingering injury plagued him for the rest of his life. Luckily it was not his time to leave this earth, but the injury affected him for the rest of his life.
Kenny met Maxine Palmer Russell of Blanding, UT in 1955. They fell in love and got married on November 10 of that same year. Along with his new wife, Kenny gained a beautiful (almost) two-year-old daughter, Nancy Lynn, who he later adopted and loved as his own.
To this union Kena Lee was born in February, 1957 and then his only son Michael Von was born in March, 1958. Kena was born mentally disabled, but has always been their special angel.
Kenny worked for the US Postal Service for a short time and then went to work at the Uranium Mill south of Monticello until it closed.
Later, Kenny got a job with the Bureau of Land Management and stayed with them for the next 30 years until his retirement in January, 1995. He enjoyed his job and made many lasting friends.
Kenny had a special relationship with his daughter, Kena. They would sit in the rocking chairs holding hands, watching television and teasing each other. Kena sure loved her Dad.
Kenny and Maxine were sealed for time and eternity in the Manti Temple of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in 1966.
Kenny loved livestock. He always wanted a ranch of his own. Finally, he was able to buy 25 acres of land south of Monticello with Bob Sparks as his partner.
He raised cows for several years. When Bob moved to Salt Lake City, Kenny bought him out and raised paint horses as a hobby for many years.
Kenny developed a close friendship with Pard Slade. Pard was at his side for many years and helped him with all the duties of his little ranch.
Pard and Kenny were quite the pair! They especially enjoyed working with the horses and doing all the jobs that the ranch needed. Pard was the best friend a cowboy like Kenny could ever have! They really enjoyed each others company.
As the years went by, Kenny started having more and more problems with his old leg injury, making it difficult to walk, so he started getting rid of his cows, then, slowly and reluctantly, his horses.
Kenny loved his family. He took great pride in their accomplishments and watching them grow.
Kenny loved his wife and partner, Maxine. They shared 61 years together, just shy of three months.
Kenny is survived by his loving wife, Maxine; daughters Nancy (Gary) Dunow and Kena Lee; son Mike (Callie); six grandchildren, and 13 great-grandchildren.
Funeral services were held August 6, 2016. Interment in the Monticello City Cemetery.
Card of thanks
The family of Kenneth Robert Christensen would like to thank Dr. Jeppson, San Juan Hospital, Rocky Mountain Home Care, and Precision Rehabilitation.
Also thank you to his friends and family who spent time visiting him throughout the years while he struggled.
We would also like to thank all those for the beautiful cards, food, visits and shared memories of our loved one.
Kenny will be deeply missed.