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Charles Einer Christensen 1947-1964

CHRISTENSEN, HATLAND, BRUNSVOLD

Posted By: Merllene Andre Bendixen (email)
Date: 1/22/2014 at 23:20:50

High School Senior Drowns in Pond Near Estherville
Chasing Innertube at Time
Charles Christensen, 17, drowned Sunday [July 19, 1964] in a farm pond just west of Estherville despite a buddy’s efforts to save him.

Christensen, son of Mr. and Mrs. Einer Christensen of rural Estherville, had gone swimming with his friend, Tenner Lilland Jr., in the Lilland pond.

After only a few minutes in the water – about 4:30 p.m. Lilland thought – Christensen dived from the end of a 40-foot-long dock and struck out swimming for an inflated innertube.

“He reached the tube and got his hand on it several times,” Lilland said, “but it just kept drifting away from him.” A brisk southerly wind was blowing the tube away from the dock.

Seeing his friend “give-up” and hearing his cries for help, Lilland swam to the rescue. He said he reached the victim but could not save him.

“I had hold of him,” Lilland said, “but he kept pulling me under.” The rescuer said he remember stories of drowning persons pulling others down with them.

Forced to abandon the rescue attempt, he started for help in a truck the boys had brought to the pond, but met his parents, the Tenner Lillands, who were coming to watch the swimming. They summoned the Estherville Fire Department rescue squad.

Volunteer skindivers worked with firemen for more than an hour in 15-foot-deep water before recovering the body about 6 p.m.

The pond where the boy drowned, built two years ago for recreation and soil conservation purposes, is located about 200 yards northwest of the 5th street bridge over the Des Moines River.

Funeral services for young Christensen will be held Wednesday at 2 p.m. in the Estherville Lutheran Church, following family services at 11:30 a.m. in the Reese Chapel. Interim pastor Ray Holter will officiate.

Charles Einer Christensen was born on June 6, 1947 to Mr. and Mrs. Einer Christensen in Estherville. He had attended Emmet Consolidated School and would have been a senior in Estherville High School.

He was a member of the Estherville Lutheran Church, where he was confirmed in 1962. Christensen also was a member of FFA and 4-H.

He is survived by his parents, one brother, Richard, of Madison, Wis.; one sister, Mrs. Wally (Marion) Brunsvold, Spirit Lake; three nephews, Eric Christensen, Scott Brunsvold, and Wayne Brunsvold; and his grandmother, Mrs. Ben Hatland, Estherville.

Friends may call at the Reese Funeral Home after 10 a.m. Tuesday until time of the family services Wednesday. (Estherville Daily News, Estherville, IA, July 20, 1964)


 

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