Sally E. Christensen of Kennett Square

Sally E. Christensen, 87, died Wednesday, Dec. 14, at Kendal-Crosslands in Kennett Square. She was a wife, a daughter, a mother, and a homemaker – and in between, she was dedicated to her church and community throughout her life.

Born in Philadelphia to Kathryn and A.C.P. Quimby in 1929, she grew up in St. Louis, Mo., and in Drexel Hill. She enjoyed summers at the family shore house in Ocean City, N.J., a tradition she passed on to her children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren. She attended Upper Darby High School, class of ’47, where she was a cheerleader. She remained lifelong friends with her fellow cheerleaders.

She enrolled at Syracuse University, where she joined Kappa Alpha Theta and met the man who would become her husband, Ivar Christensen, newly arrived from Norway. They married on Feb. 26, 1949. Ivar’s work took the couple to Australia, where they lived for three years in Melbourne and Sydney. They returned to the U.S. and settled back in the Philadelphia area. They had four children, and apart from a brief move to Ohio, they spent the rest of their lives as Pennsylvania residents.

Sally had many passions in life: She was a council member of Grace Lutheran Church in Broomall, and a proud founder of the Grace Lutheran Nursery School. As the school grew, a Volkswagen bus was purchased for use as a school bus, and Sally stepped in as the school’s first bus driver. She was a Boy Scout den leader and a Girl Scout troop leader. She was a longtime volunteer at the Helen Kate Furness Library in Wallingford, and a board member of the League of Women Voters. She was a firm Democrat.

Sally embraced her husband’s Norwegian heritage and became active in the Sons of Norway, as well as the Leif Ericson Society, founded by Ivar. She learned to speak Norwegian and became an expert at making any number of Norwegian dishes and desserts: meatballs, vafler, krumkake, kransekake... She and the family traveled back to Norway many times over the years to visit relatives and enjoy the beauty of Ivar’s homeland.

She was a great lover of books and libraries – many of her books from childhood include homemade check-out cards. She was an avid knitter, both for her family members and for charity. She was a warm and eloquent letter-writer. Family was everything to her, cherished across the generations.

Sally is survived by her children, Kathryn Clement (William), Melanie Hohag (Kenneth), Linda Rasmussen (Mikael), and H. Andrew Christensen; grandchildren Benjamin (Teresa), Emily, Miriam (Jacob), Gabriel (Sara), Rebecca, Christina, and Drew; and great-grandchildren Nicolina and Thomas.

A memorial service will be held Monday afternoon, Dec.19, at 1:30 p.m. at Westminster Presbyterian Church, 10 Pleasant Grove Road in West Chester.

Memorial gifts may be made to The Girl Scouts of Delaware County, marked for camperships, or the American Red Cross.

Online condolences may be made by visiting www.griecocares.com.

Arrangements by Kuzo & Grieco Funeral Home, Kennett Square, PA.

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