Steven Leroy Christensen, 69, of Atlantic, Iowa, passed away peacefully on Tuesday, July 5, 2016, at the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics in Iowa City, Iowa, while watching a Cardinals baseball game on television with his oldest daughter.
He was born on December 18, 1946, at the hospital in Audubon, Iowa, the son of Richard and Annabelle (McClain) Christensen. Steve was raised in Exira and attended school there graduating from Exira High School with the class of 1966. He was married to Lorene Elliott on October 25, 1969, and his son, Kenneth, was born. He was later united in marriage on December 12, 1976, to Linda Sue Jensen in Atlantic and his two daughters, Michella and Dicey, were born.
Steve was drafted into the United States Army and served two years in the Army Engineers during the Vietnam War. He returned home and began employment for Walnut Grove and was very proud to have worked there for over 28 years. He also had his own lawn moving service for over 35 years, which he turned over to his son. Steve most recently was employed part time at the Nishna Valley YMCA in Atlantic.
Steve's greatest love and passion was baseball. He played football, basketball and baseball during high school, yet his favorite was baseball. He loved the community and was active in the Booster Club and Atlantic Little League for many years. He was one of the founding members of the Atlantic Iowa Little League. He coached baseball for many years. He coached his daughters at softball and his grandsons at baseball until two years ago. He loved his children and grandchildren and enjoyed attending their dance recitals and sporting events. He and Linda loved to take all the kids and grandkids on trips to swim motels, the zoo and every year had an Easter egg hunt. He had a passion for Christmas lights and would decorate his house and yard with thousands of lights every year. He was even voted once as the Christmas family of the year for all his Christmas lights. Steve was the type of man who worked two jobs so that his kids never went without the things they needed and wanted, and did this without complaint. Steve continued to show his love and dedication when his wife, Linda, became ill with Parkinson's the last few years of her life and he was her caretaker. Once he could no longer safely care for her at home, he never let a day go by that he did not spend hours with her at the nursing home until the day of her death last August.
He is survived by his children, Kenny (Crystal) Christensen, Michella (Ben) Bartholomew and Dicey Christensen; his grandchildren, Brett and Kerra Christensen, Jyden, Mia and Lexi Trotter, Bodie and Clevi Johnson, and Libertie and Merci Bartholomew all of Atlantic, IA; his sister, Debbie (Tim) Alspach of Bartlesville, OK; his sisters-in-law, Caroline Christensen of Brayton, IA, and Connie Beaty of Atlantic, IA; his niece, Teresa Christensen of Brayton; other relatives and many friends.
Steve was preceded in death by his wife, Linda Christensen; his parents, Richard and Annabelle Christensen; and his brother, Ronnie Christensen.
In lieu of flowers, the family strongly requests memorials to the family to be used per Steve's wishes at a later date. The family also request that all present and past baseball players wear their uniforms and hats to the memorial service.
A memorial service will be held at 2:30 p.m., Saturday, July 9, 2016, at Hockenberry Family Care Funeral Home in Atlantic, Iowa. There will be a time for visitation at a lunch at Hockenberry's following the memorial service.
A private interment of cremains will take place at a later time.