Rev. Lyle T. Christianson
Christianson, Rev. Lyle T. Died April 16 at age 87. Lyle grew up on a farm near Crookston, Minnesota, and ran the farm while still in high school after his brothers were drafted and his father had passed. He served in the Army Counter Intelligence Corps in Germany, and then attended Hamline University where he studied physics and math. He began graduate school in physics. However, after one semester, he "felt the calling" and soon enrolled at Garrett-Evangelical Seminary in Evanston, Illinois. There he obtained his Divinity Degree and met Dorothy Anne, who became his beloved wife and partner for nearly 62 years. He studied further at Union Seminary in New York City, where his professors included Reinhold Niebuhr and Paul Tillich, both of whom had profound influences on his theology. He returned to Minnesota where he began a long ministry in The United Methodist Church, serving congregations in Long Prairie, Bemidji, Roseville, and Golden Valley. He served as Metro East District Superintendent and as Conference Council Director. He was a delegate to several General Conferences of The United Methodist Church, where he worked to shape church policy. Following retirement from full time work in 1991, he was the Field Director of the Metro-West Builders Union for many years, assisting new and existing churches on building projects. He and Dorothy Anne were Regional Directors with Educational Opportunities, and they led many trips abroad. He was particularly interested in Middle East peace issues, and traveled to the Middle East on eight occasions. He served as chair of the Minnesota Alliance of Peacemakers and continued to work on peace issues throughout the rest of his life. He was a Trustee at Hamline University and received the Alumni Distinguished Service Award in 2005. He was included in the Hamline book "150 Lives that Make a Difference," which profiled individuals from Hamline's past and present who have acted as compassionate citizens of the world or who have worked to make their part of the world a better place. He is survived by his wife Dorothy Anne, children Diane (John Tolson), David (Kate Winsor), Janet Johnson (Gary), and Paul (Laura Smith), grandchildren Kristin (Ben), Matthew, Heather, Luke, Nicholas, Rachel, Brittany, and Cole, brother Wallace, nieces, nephews and cousins, including relatives in Denmark; he was very proud of his Danish heritage. Memorial service at Centennial United Methodist Church (1524 County Rd C W, Roseville) on Saturday, May 3 at 11:00 am. Visitation at Roseville Memorial Chapel (2245 Hamline Ave N.) on Friday, May 2 from 4:00 to 6:00 pm. Private interment at Roselawn Cemetery. Memorials preferred to the Lyle and Dorothy Anne Christianson Scholarship Fund at Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary, Hamline University, or Northern Pines Assembly Grounds.
Published on April 27, 2014
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