SMSgt Jack Joseph Christensen, Sr., USAF (Retired), 90, passed away peacefully on Jan. 19, 2011, in New Braunfels, Texas. He was born in Memphis, Tenn. on May 31, 1920, to Moore Pond and Loretta Rose Crosby Christensen. He married Gladys Kathryn Luebke on July 31. 1942. Jack entered the Army in 1939 and joined the Army Air Corps in 1942 and flew in B-24's with the Flying Tigers 308th Bomb Group Heavy as a Radio Operator/Aerial Gunner in China. After WWII he continued to serve in the United States Air Force as a Radar Technician and gave more than 27 years of honorable service.
His awards included the Distinguished Flying Cross, Air Medal with one oak leaf cluster, and the Air Force Commendation Medal. After retirement from the Air Force in 1967, he continued his education and graduated from Troy State University with a Bachelor of Arts Degree and went on to work for the Air Force Historical Research Agency until he retired again in l983.
Mr. Christensen loved the outdoors and belonged to the Sierra Club, taught canoe paddling and took many canoe, camping, hiking and biking trips. A conservationist, he taught his grandchildren to appreciate the outdoors.
His survivors include his wife Gladys Christensen; sister, Helen Louise Harrington of Memphis, Tenn.; son, Jack Christensen, Jr. and daughter-in-law Maria Carrisalez Christensen of San Antonio, Texas; daughter, June Marie Christensen Gentine and son-in-law Richard Gentine of Seguin, Texas; six grandchildren and 10 great-grandchildren. Visitation will be Tuesday, Jan. 25, 2011 from 5 p.m. until 9 p.m. at Zoeller Funeral home. A rosary will be recited Tuesday evening at 7 p.m.
Graveside services will be Wednesday, Jan. 26, 2011, at 1:45 p.m. at Fort Sam Houston National Cemetery with full military honors.
In lieu of flowers memorial donations may be made to St Jude's Children's Research Hospital in Memphis, Tenn. or The Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson's Research.