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Christensen leaves a legacy in Madelia

NU native was prolific businessman, author, leader

Everett Marion Christensen, Jr.

MADELIA — Everett Christensen Jr., who rose to great heights in the business world, wrote a number of books and was a leader in many ways, died in hospice care at home Nov. 29.

A funeral Mass will be held at 11 a.m., Saturday, Dec. 12 at Cathedral of the Holy Trinity, New Ulm. Visitation is at the church, one hour prior to the funeral. Covid 19 guidelines will be followed including wearing masks and social distancing.

With a BA degree in Economics from Michigan State University and an MA degree in Psychology from the University of Minnesota, Christensen said contribution is the key to happiness and is what everyone seeks, whether or not they know it.

Spending more than 45 years analyzing and evaluating the development of interpersonal relationships, his first book “Dynamic Supervision,” was published in 1970. He later published “55 Magic Management Words” in 1989 and “It All Counts Towards Twenty,” a fictional novel about life in the U.S. Air Force in 2004.

With years of experience as a management consultant, personnel specialist, college recruiter, university professor, human resources director, senior bank vice president and business owner, Christensen’s more recent book “60-40 or Fight,” contained 25 of his beliefs. They include:

• The greatest reward for doing something worthwhile is the opportunity to do more.

• Everyone can do something, but no one can do everything.

• In productive relationships, either everyone wins, or no one does.

• When we have a problem, we should look for a solution, not someone to blame.

Christensen moved to Madelia in 1983 and became president of the local telephone company. The next year, he created a cable TV company in Madelia and later bought the telephone company, the local newspaper and the local movie theater that was closed for years.

Christensen later sold the Cable TV company and newspaper, but held on the Christensen Communications Company, providing state-of-the-art telecommunications services to an expanding area.

“It’s weird. I’ve worked with him for 25 years. Now, not having him around to talk to is strange,” said Everett’s son Brent, President/CEO of the Minnesota Telecom Alliance.

“What stands out most for me is, we always had high school and college kids working for us in the summer,” said Brent Christensen.“Two of them wrote me and told me what an impact he had on their lives, going into business. One asked my dad for a reference and he wrote the equivalent of the Declaration of Independence.”

Brent Christensen said if his dad saw talent in someone, he worked to ensure it was developed.

“He went out of his way to talk to people. He had that connection. A sense of humor,” said Brent. “He walked up and down the street and everybody knew him.”

Brent said the difficult part now for the family is picking up where his father left off.

“He set the bar pretty high,” said Brent.

Madelia Mayor Mike Grote said Everett Christensen was always grateful enough to thank people for what they do, not because it was in his own best interest, but the best interest of the community.

“Whenever there was a need for guidance and putting his expertise to work, he helped on things including economic development,” said Grote. “My job as mayor is a lot easier because of people like Ev Christensen and other leaders that really want Madelia to stay vibrant. People work together here.”

Madelia City Administrator Christine Fischer echoed Grote.

“I know he (Ev Christensen) did some amazing things for the community. He’s such a wonderful individual,” Fischer said.

Arrangements are with Sturm Funeral Home, Pilgrim Chapel, Madelia. Online condolences may be left for the family at www.sturmfh.com.

(Fritz Busch can be emailed at fbusch@nujournal.com).

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