Eleonore (Kast) ChristensenJuly 25, 1940 ~ December 1, 2016 (age 76)
Celebration of Life at the Healing Hope Church, Saturday December 17 @ 2:00PM (new service date!)
15150 NE Glisan Street, Portland, Oregon 97230.
Public Visitation Thursday December 8, 2016 from 6:00-9:00PM and Friday December 9 from 9:00AM-1:30PM at Sunnyside Little Chapel of the Chimes, 11667 SE Stevens Rd., Portland, Oregon 97086.
THURSDAY NIGHT VISITATION MIGHT BE CANCELLED IN CASE OF EXTREME INCLEMENT WEATHER; PLEASE CALL 503-842-0241, 503-459-1554 OR 503-358-0568 for confirmation.
Private Burial Willamette National Cemetery.
Beloved mother and wife Eleonore Christensen, 76, passed away in her home in Portland, Oregon on the morning of Thursday, December 1st, 2016.
Eleonore was born to Ernst and Maria Kast on July 25th, 1940 in Kiev, Ukraine. As Germans living in a foreign land during wartime, Ernst and Maria soon moved Eleonore and older brother William back to Germany for their own safety. After the war the family seized the opportunity to get on board a returning U.S. Naval Ship and moved to America.
On December 22, 1951 Eleonore arrived with her family to the welcoming beacon of The Statue of Liberty in New York City, traveling from there to Chicago, Illinois to begin her path to citizenship. Not long after arriving in Chicago the family moved again, this time to Missoula, Montana. Eleonore completed grade school and graduated from Mount Ellis Adventist Academy while living in Montana. She loved music and it was during these years that she also developed as an accomplished pianist. She could play melody and chords on just about any song by reading music or by ear and could even easily transpose songs into different keys.
A couple years after she finished Academy, Eleonore’s father lost his employment and moved with Maria to Portland, Oregon. Eleonore decided to make this move with her folks and younger sister.
Having finished secretarial trade school while in Montana, Eleonore worked in the Medical Records department at Portland Adventist Medical Center. It was at Seventh Day Adventist Campmeeting in Gladstone, Oregon that Eleonore first met the love of her life, Stan Christensen in 1963. It took the urging of sister Erna for the always shy Eleonore to first say “hi” to Stan as he was passing by. That’s all it took… On June 20, 1965 Eleonore and Stan were married.
In 1967 Stan was drafted into the Army to serve in the Vietnam war. Eleonore moved with Stan to Fort Lewis in Tacoma, Washington for Stan’s basic training. While stationed in Fort Lewis, the couple discovered that they were expecting their first child. Once Stan shipped off to Vietnam, Eleonore moved back to Portland to live with her parents where she gave birth to their first son, Brian, in August 1968.
After Stan returned from Vietnam in 1969, the couple bought a house in SE Portland and settled down to raise their family. Eleonore chose to stay home to raise Brian and ran a small daycare from the house in addition to being a full-time mom. While Brian was a child, she began playing piano and teaching in the children’s Sabbath School departments at their church. This is something she took joy in and would go on to do for the rest of her life. In March of 1973, Eleonore gave birth to her and Stan’s second child, James. Once James was old enough to attend school, Eleonore took a job working at the pre-school where James attended Kindergarten.
In 1983 Eleonore trained and became a Certified Nursing Assistant where she worked first in nursing homes and later in home health, which became her passion. She relished working one-on-one with patients, helping in their homes and developing deep personal relationships with the people she was serving.
In 1998, Stan’s employment took him from Portland to Tillamook. Shortly after Stan made the move to Tillamook, Eleonore moved to Tillamook to be with her husband. Eleonore enjoyed continuing her career in home health, volunteering at the local church Dorcas Society and spent time perfecting her crocheting.
In 2002 Eleonore was slowing down and it was getting increasingly difficult for her to do physically demanding tasks so she retired from home health. She continued to play piano, volunteer at church and further her already accomplished crochet skills. Eleonore became so proficient at crochet that she took several first-place prizes and even a grand prize for her flying pig at the Tillamook County Fair!
Eleonore made many friends in Tillamook and loved spending time with family and friends and especially her grandkids every chance she got.
In 2008 Eleonore was officially diagnosed with Parkinson’s.
Shortly after Stan’s retirement in 2013, Eleonore moved with Stan back to Portland to be closer to their kids and grandkids.
On June 20th, 2015, Eleonore celebrated with Stan their 50th wedding anniversary. The anniversary celebration was held in Seaside, Oregon with several family members staying for almost an entire week. Being able to celebrate this milestone spending time with family and friends was a highlight for Eleonore.
Eleonore spent her last day doing the things she had come to enjoy; a nice walk and singing hymns in the morning; a shopping excursion with her husband in the afternoon; a pre-bedtime snack of potato chips and her normal night-time routine. She passed peacefully sleeping next to the man she’d spent sleeping next to for over 50 years.
Eleonore is survived by her brother, Bill Kast; sister, Erna Janus; husband, Stan Christensen; son, Brian Christensen; son and his spouse, James Christensen and Carla Canchola; grandchildren Drew and Elise Christensen; and step-grandchildren Olivia, Bella and Brooks Canchola.
Donations may be sent to Parkinson’s research or to the children department at your local church.