Ivar Christensen of Kennett Square

Ivar Christensen,87, June 27 at Crosslands, Kennett Square.

He was born in Kristiansand S, Norway
on July 18, 1922. He grew up there and was a young man of 18 when the
Nazis invaded and occupied Norway in 1940. He became involved in a resistance
group in south Norway which was part of the Milorg effort to sabotage and carry
on a defiant fight for their country against the foe. In December 1942 he
and several others were betrayed, arrested, tortured for information and
finally incarcerated in a severe prison camp, “Grini”, outside Oslo. He
and the others were sentenced to be executed in May 1944. However, he and
one other were reprieved until May 9, 1945. The war was declared over on
May 8th, “VE Day”, so Ivar regained his freedom.

After a time in a Red Cross Rehab
Hospital that treated the effects of the imprisonment as well as possible, he
gained a visa to visit family in the US, a sort of R&R. While there
he was awarded a scholarship to Syracuse University to finish his studies from
the American-Scandinavian Foundation of New York City.

Married to Sally E. Quimby of
Philadelphia in 1949, he then went to Australia on assignment by several
Norwegian ship owners who had contracts with the UN-IRO to transport displaced
persons from European camp to a new life in Australia. He took care of
the ships as they arrived in various ports over a period of three years.

Returning to the US in 1952 Ivar became
employed by Slater System in Philadelphia which later became ARA and then
evolved into Aramark. In 1972 he left corporate life to become president
of his own restaurant management company, which eventually operated fine
restaurants across the country.

Among his outside interests was a deep
involvement in his church and Lutheran endeavors.

In 1972 he founded, or re-founded,
the then defunct Leif Ericson Society that was based on the premise to give
credit, and information, on the man who really discovered America. Ivar
recruited many members, got a Viking ship built and initiated an educational
program in which members of the Society go to schools and other groups to teach
about the Vikings and Viking life. Leif Ericson Day is celebrated every
October 9 all across the country.

Ivar took his growing family back to
Norway yearly for vacations and “to water his roots”, as he put it. The
ties there were strong.

Ivar retired from his working life in
1993 and suffered poor health from then on. His war injuries lingered but
cancer in four different forms also interfered. He survived them all,
until finally liver and kidney failed.

He leaves his wife of 61 years, Sally,
three daughters, Kathryn, Melanie and Linda and one son, Hans-Andrew, as well
as 7 grandchildren, along with their spouses.

A memorial service will be at 2 p.m .Wednesday,
July 7 at Reformation Lutheran Church, 102 W. Rose Tree Road, Media.
Interment will be private at West Laurel Hill Cemetery.

Arrangements are being handled by Kuzo
& Grieco Funeral Home of Kennett Square, PA. To send an online
condolence, please visit www.griecocares.com.

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