Cover photo for Marlene M. Christensen's Obituary
Marlene M. Christensen Profile Photo
1937 Marlene 2021

Marlene M. Christensen

September 16, 1937 — July 1, 2021

Marlene M. Christensen, the daughter of Clarence “Bud” and Catherine ( Block) Schaben, was born September 16, 1937, near Defiance, Iowa and died July 1, 2021, at the Salem Lutheran Nursing Home in Elk Horn, Iowa at the age of 83 years, 9 months, and 15 days.

Marlene was baptized and confirmed at St. Peter’s Catholic Church in Defiance, Iowa. She attended the St. Paul’s parochial schools graduating with the High School Class of 1956. Marlene attended business school then was employed by Variety Distributers later becoming the Office Manager.

On February 4, 1967, she was united in marriage to Lyle Frank Christensen at St. Peter’s Catholic Church in Defiance. They were blessed with four daughters Lynne, Doreen, Tracy, and Tammi. They operated a farm northeast of Kimballton, Iowa where they would grow row crops and raise livestock. Marlene always had a large vegetable garden and strawberry patch. They retired from farming in 2002 and Marlene then worked at the Danish Inn until she retired due to her health in 2004. They lived on the farm until moving to Harlan, Iowa in December of 2010. Lyle died February 2, 2011. Marlene later moved to the Salem Lutheran Home in Elk Horn, Iowa in January of 2013.

Marlene was an active member of St. Patrick’s Catholic Church in Audubon, Iowa including work with the ladies Altar Society and teaching religious education classes. She was also a member of the Red Hat Society. During retirement Lyle and Marlene bought a camper and enjoyed traveling around the country. She was a real animal lover and fed and cared for many different animals. Marlene enjoyed puzzles, playing cards, polka dancing, reading books and babysitting for her grandchildren. She was also well known for her strawberry jam and Danish pepperner cookies.

Preceding her in death was her husband Lyle F. Christensen; her parents; her brothers Adolph “Addie” Schaben, Dennis Schaben, Warren “ Tobe” Schaben, and Donald Schaben; her mother-in-law and father-in-law Olivia and Gaylor Christensen; her brothers-in-law and sisters-in-law Leo McCullough, Burdette Christensen, Lamont Christensen, Beulah and husband Lee “Woody” Jensen, Doris and husband Wayne Hollingsworth, Ivan and wife Amy Christensen and Dale Christensen.

Survivors include her daughters; Lynne and husband James Heckman of Boone, Iowa, Doreen and husband Kristopher Andersen of Audubon, Iowa, Tracy Christensen of Kimballton, Iowa, and Tammi and husband John Schulz of Elk Horn, Iowa; her 10 grandchildren: Collin and wife Elizabeth Heckman and Ryan Heckman all of Boone, Iowa, Erica Heckman of Fort Hancock, Texas, Kolten Christensen, Abriella and Aleena Andersen all of Audubon, Iowa, Kaitlyn and Kylie Christensen both of Kimballton, Iowa, Trever and Jason Schulz both of Elk Horn, Iowa; her brother and sisters; Mary and husband Richard Muell of Missouri Valley, Iowa, Alice McCullough of Carroll, Iowa, and Alan and wife Joanne Schaben of Harlan, Iowa; her sisters-in-law Judy Schaben of Carroll, Iowa, Louann Schaben of Defiance, Iowa, Shirley Christensen of Marne, Iowa, and Lois Jean Christensen of Elk Horn, Iowa, many nieces, nephews, other relatives and friends.

The family will meet with friends on Tuesday evening July 6, 2021 from 5:00 pm until 8:00 pm at the Kessler Funeral Home in Audubon, Iowa. The Mass of Christian Burial will be conducted by Father David Nkrumah on Wednesday July 7, 2021, at 10:30 am at St. Patrick’s Catholic Church in Audubon. Interment will be in the Immanuel Lutheran Cemetery in Kimballton, Iowa. The honorary casket bearers will be her granddaughters Kylie Christensen, Kaitlyn Christensen, and Erica Heckman. The casket bearers will be her grandsons Collin Heckman, Ryan Heckman, Trever Schulz, Jason Schulz, and Kolten Christensen.

The family prefers memorials be sent to Salem Lutheran Home, Elk Horn, Iowa or St. Patrick’s Catholic Church, Audubon, Iowa.

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

Service Schedule

Past Services


Tuesday, July 6, 2021

5:00 - 8:00 pm (Central time)

Kessler Funeral Homes, Inc. - Audubon

515 South Division Street, Audubon, IA 50025

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.


Wednesday, July 7, 2021

Starts at 10:30 am (Central time)

St. Patrick's Catholic Church

116 East Division Street, Audubon, IA 50025

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.


Immanuel Lutheran Cemetery

, Kimballton, IA

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