Home Specific celebration James Christensen Obituary (1953 – 2021) – Crystal Lake, Illinois

James Christensen Obituary (1953 – 2021) – Crystal Lake, Illinois

James F. Christensen
Born: May 28, 1953
Passed away: September 6, 2021
James F. Christensen, also known as “Big Jim”, was born to Lorraine and Elroy Christensen on May 28, 1953 in Chicago. The family has grown to include his twin sisters, Karen Christensen and Diane (Schultz), and Donna (Sutcliffe). He was affectionately known to them as “Jimmie”. Her sisters love her!
Jim grew up in the parish of St. Pascal Catholic Church and attended St. Patrick’s High School where he graduated in 1971. He played high school basketball and was recruited heavily by various colleges throughout. the country to play college basketball. He then played at William and Mary College in Williamsburg, Virginia, and then transferred to Bradley University in Peoria, Illinois. Some of his Bradley teammates remained his closest friends until his death. Jim received his BA from DePaul University, followed by his MBA from the Keller Graduate School of Management.
He worked at Northern Trust Company for 28 years in the Teller, Security Management area, and ended his career helping to start the business continuity plan at Northern when this corporate function was in its infancy. He continued to help manage this function until he left in 2003. Jim was fortunate enough to meet the love of his life, Sandy (Fara), whom he married in June 1979. They were lucky. to have two children, Katie (Matt Heitman) and Jay (Megan Mason). Jim and Sandy have also been blessed with three grandchildren over the past five years. Caleb and Makena Heitman and Eden Christensen have been the joy of their lives.
Jim and Sandy moved to Crystal Lake in 1988 where they became active in the community. Jim joined the Jaycees and helped on many projects including the Halloween haunted house, collecting food for Christmas baskets and most importantly the characters in Breakfast with Sesame Street where he played Oscar the Grouch – the character. was not very fit for such a nice man, but the costume was the only one that matched his tall stature, so the kids enjoyed meeting the “cranky good guy”. Jim helped Katie and Jay’s coaches in basketball and softball and was literally and figuratively their biggest fan as he cheered from the sidelines with a crowd of parents from Crystal Lake South High School in all Jay and Katie matches. They traveled with their kids to their tournaments, and he worked with them in the alley (basketball) and in the backyard (softball) with lots of bruises to show for it! He was also a member of the Chamber of Commerce and B to B in the Crystal Lake area after leaving Northern Trust and joining the Crystal Lake business community.
He was Katie and Jay’s most loving father. He showed his love by being there for choir concerts, games, practice, tournaments near and far, staying up late at night to make sure the deadline for papers was met, while waiting. (probably sleepy) on the couch as they come home, or help console heartaches or losses in games. He radiated love and joy for Caleb, Makena and Eden. Whether it was their silly little things that reminded him of their parents when they were young, or their own unique way of doing something, he knew his grandchildren and they loved him dearly.
As his faith deepened in the early 1990s, Jim became active in various ministries at St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Catholic Church. He was involved in the ministry of marriage, began the ministry of reception and the ministry of mourning. He and Sandy helped start the full marriage preparation program in their church. His pride and joy in his faith was founding the TMIY (That Man is You) Christian Men’s Group in St. Elizabeth Ann Seton, where he was able to share his love of his faith and be a role model for so many. men and families. . He and his core team felt the need to advance this ministry nationally by helping other local parishes start their own TMIY groups.
For those of you whose lives were touched by Jim, when you think of Jim, you remember the heat. The kindness of his smile, the strength of his embrace and the warmth of God through him. We have lost a lovely and devoted husband whose love is everlasting. We have lost a father who was so proud to be a father, and grandfather / dad. We lost a brother, nephew, son-in-law, brother-in-law, friend, neighbor, central group leader, another parishioner, and a random acquaintance that he made to feel like a friend. No matter what you called her, Husband, Dad, Brother-in-law, Brother, Grandpa / Dad, Friend, Big Jim, Tree, Camel, Cliffy, etc. you knew her heart was so full and so generous. Jim was a kind soul who deeply loved God, his family and his friends. He’s touched so many in his 68 years. We hope you will keep all of these great memories and stories close to you. As he always said when he left, “Go with God.”
A celebration of her life will be held on Friday, October 1, 2021 at St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Catholic Church, 1023 McHenry Ave., Crystal Lake, IL 60014. Visitations will start at 9:00 am at Seton Hall, followed by a funeral mass at 11:00 a.m. Afterwards, a festive lunch open to all will take place from 12 noon until the end of the afternoon at Seton Hall (at the church). We really want this day to be a day dedicated to celebrating Jim’s life, so join us. Jim’s specific request was to have hot dogs, burgers and pizza at his funeral lunch, so we will honor his request with salads and desserts provided by the funeral ministry. We ask that you let the church office staff know that you will be attending lunch to ensure we have enough food for everyone (815) 459-3033. Please tell them the total number of your participants. Please also bring your Jim stories to lunch to share with family and friends gathered there. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations can be made to St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Catholic Church or Paradisus Dei-TMIY (That Man is You). For TMIY donations, please click on Donations in Memory of Jim.
Arrangements have been made with Davenport Family Funeral Home and Crematory, Crystal Lake, IL. For more information and to leave a message of condolence online for the family, please visit www.davenportfamily.com or call 815-459-3411.

Published by Northwest Herald September 11-25, 2021.

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