Carl M. Christenson, 79, of Zionesville, died Tuesday, Nov. 1, 2011, in Zionesville.
He was born in Winona, Minn., and attended Winona Schools. As a young man, he served his country in the Navy during the Korean Conflict. He returned to Winona to attend Winona State College where he earned his Bachelor of Arts degree. There he met Jacqueline Fuller, and the two were married June 7, 1957. He continued his education, achieving a Master’s degree from Western Michigan University, and his Doctorate in physiology at Kansas State University. Following post-doctoral research at the Jackson Laboratory in Bar Harbor, Maine, he began teaching at Indiana University Southeast. He taught anatomy, physiology, biology, endocrinology and marine and field biology, and chaired the biology department until his retirement in 1997. As education was his passion, he served on the New Albany-Floyd County School Board for 12 years, two terms as president.
He was an accomplished woodworker, an avid musician and a spellbinding storyteller. He was known by family, friends, co-workers and students for his wonderful sense of humor and sage advice. He deeply believed that one should “Never Aspire to Mediocrity.”
Survivors include his loving wife of 54 years, Jackie; four children, John Christenson and his wife, Becky, of Prior Lake, Minn., Jim Christenson and his wife, Brenda, of Noblesville, Jeanne Dotterweich and her husband, Andy, of Paradise Valley, Ariz., and Julie Yates and her husband, Chuck, of Zionsville; two sisters, Mary Gonnion and Catherine Stenhjem; and 12 grandchildren.
A celebration of life gathering will be scheduled in New Albany late spring of 2012.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be directed to The I.U. Foundation for the Christenson Scholarship for Natural Sciences Students, Indiana University Southeast, 4201 Grant Line Road, New Albany, IN 47150.