a house on the same spot. After digging down 25 feet, they finally decided they were NOT going to hit rock on which to build. Yet, not 100 feet to the east was solid rock less than 3 feet down! That’s our terrain!

After a snow storm with drifts that were almost impassable , Ryan Thomas Christensen was born in the Winneshiek County Memorial Hospital. Diane and Lowell first got stuck in a snowdrift in their driveway, allowing very little time after their arrival at the hospital before Ryan was born...45 minutes! Hard to believe that now, in 1996 he is 18 years old and will graduate from Decorah High School in May. Ryan is a very social person in that he likes working with people. His mother predicts that Ryan will not have a desk job when he grows up. Favorite memories are: Ken with Ryan sitting on a paint can on Pa's (Ken's) work bench cracking nuts; Ryan and Ken working together in the garden; Ryan having fun anywhere and everywhere.

In exactly the opposite weather, Megan was born. Grandmother Mary said her ideal anniversary gift would be a granddaughter. Diane complied and the world has not been the same since! Megan began as a quiet, shy toddler with big brother Ryan telling everyone what she wanted. But by age 6 Megan had learned how to speak for herself and everyone else close by! Favorite memories are: Mom and Dad rushing downstairs to the sound of Ryan’s screaming, only to come upon 3-year-old Megan holding Ryan hostage by his hair -Megan’s comment: "I'm not touching him!" - then two fingers went back into her mouth; Megan stomping her foot to tell Mom and Dad to “go to their room!" only to be dismayed when they did! - and 5-year-old Megan telling Mom and Dad off, slamming the door when she left the room, only to discover it was her room they were in. Megan takes after her big brother in that she enjoys people and is a very social person. Unfortunately, she did learn about the telephone at way too early an age! We do have call waiting, so if you get a busy signal, she has a conference call going!

Diane is the daughter of Virgil Herman Butt (b. 30 Mar 1926 in Western, NE and d. 11 Nov 1994 in Apache Junction, AZ) and Marylla Ruth (Baldock) Butt in Janesville, Wl), Virgil was the son of Otto Emil William Butt (b. 5 Feb 1888 in Germany and d. 18 Jun 1957 in Janesville, Wl) and Ida Wilhelmina (Timm) Butt (b. 8 Sep 1895 in Western, NE and d. 17 Dec 1987). Marylla was the daughter of Alfred Henry Baldock (b. 3 Feb 1893 in Stamford Hills, England and d. 18 June 1960 in Janesville, Wl) and Verna Ruth (Spencer) Baldock (b. 8 Aug 1892 in Ft. Madison, IA and d. 16 May 1966 in Janesville, Wl). Sisters and brother of Diane include: Dale Owen Butt residing in Durango, CO; Linda Sue Nanninga  residing in Bowling Green, OH; Sandra Kay Southworth  residing in Elkhart, Wl; Mark Virgil Butt  residing in Plymouth, Wl; and Mary Beth Hembel residing in Glenbeulah, Wl.

During World War II, Diane’s father, Virgil, enlisted in the Marine Corps at 16 years of age. His mother had to sign papers giving him permission to serve as her sons,

Dale (who was reported 'missing in action’ in Aug 1943) and Arnold were already serving their country. Brother DeLane was not born until 1938.

During World War I, Diane’s grandfather, Emil Butt, had to carry an Alien Registration Card, as he was German and was not a naturalized citizen of the United States. He carried the card from Feb 1918 until Feb 1921, when he was granted a “Presidential exception from the classification of alien enemy for the purpose of naturalization."

Diane's grandfather Alfred “Fred” Henry Baldock had a ticket for the 1912 maiden voyage of the Titanic, with plans to join his Uncle Jellyman in Wisconsin. His mother Mary (Jellyman) Baldock got ill and he turned in his ticket. He came to America in Nov 1912, possibly on the Philadelphia.

Through her grandmother, Verna Ruth (Spencer) Baldock, Diane is a direct descendant of Edward Fuller, a passenger on the Mayflower, as well as direct descendant of Thomas Rowley, Esq., poet of the Green Mountain Boys and who participated in the Ft. Ticonderoga Expedition in 1775 with The Green Mountain Boys and Chittenberg, Allen, and Warner.

Christianson, John and Birgitte (Povelsen)

(John Christianson)

Bio Photo

Birgitte and John Christianson

Birgitte and John Christianson moved to Decorah in June 1967, when John became Chairman of the History Department at Luther College. Birgitte was born in Copenhagen, Denmark and immigrated to California in 1947, where she grew up in Santa Rosa and became a U.S. citizen in 1957. Her father, E. S. Povelsen (b. 1906), came from a family of wine merchants, and her mother Lisbeth (Heede) Povelsen (b. 1916) was the daughter of a master cabinetmaker in Copenhagen. Birgitte attended the University of Copenhagen in 1962-63, where she met her future husband, John Robert Christianson. (For his background, see the entry on Marian Christine (Peterson) Christianson.) John had attended the Universities of Wisconsin and Copenhagen, received his B.A. from Mankato State University, M.A. (1959) from the University of Minnesota, and after service 1958-60 in the United States Army, his Ph.D. (1964)

Partial OCR transcription, some sensitive personal information such as birth dates of people that maybe living was not transcribed. See the associated scan to compare with the published information.

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this page was last updated on Sunday, 28 March 2021