Norman Wesley Christophersen

Published 7:17 pm Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Norman Wesley Christophersen

July 4, 2014

Mr. Norman Wesley Christophersen, 93, went home to be with the Lord on Friday, July 4, 2014 at Elkhart General Hospital.

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He was born Wesley Norman Jensen on March 23, 1921, a son of James and Henrietta (Ingeborg Knudtsen) Jensen in Irene, South Dakota.

When Wesley was two years old Henrietta passed away following the birth of her eighth child. Subsequently, he and three of his younger siblings were adopted.

Rev. Andrew and Christianna Christophersen adopted him and changed his name to Norman Wesley Christophersen. Norman attended schools in Nebraska, Wisconsin and Michigan, graduating from Three Rivers High School in 1939. Norman attended Bob Jones University and Western Michigan University and served in the U.S. Navy as a quartermaster second class during WWII on the LST 826. On March 23, 1941 he married Nancy Vivian Rifenberg.

Norman spent most of his working years in the mobil home construction and management business. He enjoyed playing tennis, card games, bowling, softball, crossword puzzles, golf, carpentry work, writing and Danish cooking. He especially loved spending time with his family.

He was a member of First Baptist Church of Newberg, in Jones, Mich. He was called by the Lord to serve as a deacon in many churches, including FBCN and First Baptist Church of Bainbridge, Georgia. Norman served in many phases of Christian ministries and was a true Christian witness to everyone he came in contact with.

Norman is survived by his wife Vivian Christophersen, Elkhart; daughters, Loma Bolt of Sugar Hill, Ga., Carol Ratliff of Bainbridge, Nancy (Lavern) Pridgeon of New Braunfels, Texas; son Chris Chistophersen of Beulah, Mich.; daughter Jerilyn (Daniel) Koop, of Greene, Iowa; two sisters, Clara Webb of Newport News, Va.; Donna Thomas of Cook, Washington; 14 grandchildren; 21 great-grandchildren; seven great-great-grandchildren and numerous nieces and nephews.

He was preceded in death by his parents, an adopted sister, Betty Zonker, with whom he grew up; a grandson Philip Bailey, a son-in-law Thomas Ratliff; 11 brothers and sisters, and a sister-in-law Violet Rifenberg.

Relatives and friends were received Monday, July 7, 2014 at First Baptist Church of Newberg, where religious services were held at 6 p.m. with Pastor Mike Owen officiating. Interment was in Poe Cemetery.

Memorial contributions may be directed to Alzheimer’s Association, American Cancer Society or First Baptist Church of Newberg.

Arrangements were entrusted to Eley Funeral Home, Constantine, Mich.