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Vi Anne Sattre Christensen, 95

May 14, 2017

Vi Anne Christensen

Blue Earth Vi Anne (Vi) Sattre Christensen, age 95, died in her home in the Southview Apartments in Blue Earth on April 21, 2017. Memorial Service was held on Friday, May 12, 2017 at Trinity Lutheran Church in Blue Earth, Rev. Jeanette Bidne presided. Private family interment was held.

Vi was born Nov. 24, 1921 in Minneapolis. She is remembered with love by daughters, Vi Anne Marie (George) Traynor and their children, Mark and Jillian; Beth Ann Christensen (Jack Rayburn) and daughter Libby; Mary Jean (Harold) Motter and their children, Caitlin and Ben; by honorary daughter, Karelyn Kark Lacher; by her dear sister, Marian Sattre Kark; by her great grandchildren, Naiya, Isaac and Ella Traynor; by niece, Sylvia Kark and by nephews, David, Richard, and Ken Kark.

She was preceded in death by her parents, Karl Orlano Sattre and Ovidia Berg Sattre; by her sister, Shirley Sattre Kark, and by brothers-in-law, Arthur and Donald Kark.

Vi had an idyllic childhood. Her early years were spent in Turner, Montana, where her father ran the local bank and lumberyard. She recalled driving into the big town of Havre for winter supplies in a caravan of horse-drawn sleighs. The women and children were wrapped in buffalo robes against the cold, and the men rode shotgun, watching for hungry wolves in pursuit of the horses.

The family then moved to Evansville, where Vi’s father and his brother were in charge of the local bank. During the height of the Great Depression, Vi’s mother took her daughters to Miami, Florida, where her sister lived, and the girls were introduced to hurricanes and the ocean. (All were happy to return to Evansville at the end of this one-year sojourn, however.)

Vi secured her driver’s license at the age of 12 by paying a quarter at the Evansville town clerk’s office, and drove the family model-T at a fast clip on all the surrounding country roads. She and her sisters loved spending summers at their cabin on Pelican Lake, just outside of town, where they would climb into their little wooden boat with the Johnson motor early every morning, enjoy adventures all day long (including catching their lunch of frog legs or fish and roasting it over a camp fire), returning home only when the sun had just begun to set.

Vi’s father, K.O. Sattre, was asked to head up the Blue Earth State Bank the summer of her senior year in high school. The move to the big town of Blue Earth and relatively large school so late in her high school career was difficult, but Vi adjusted well, acting in school plays and serving as secretary of the class of 1939. She also worked at the Green Giant canning factory loading pea vines onto trucks, earning money for her college tuition. Her father required her to record her every expenditure, even a single stamp, which she did faithfully in her little spiral notebook.

Vi graduated from St. Olaf College in Northfield, with a degree in English and history in 1943, during WWII. She returned to Blue Earth and taught school for one year in nearby Frost. Years later, she would once again teach in Frost (three years) and then in Blue Earth (17 years). During summers while teaching, she earned a Master’s degree from Minnesota State University, Mankato. In addition, Vi served as the Associate Alumni Director of St. Olaf College for two years.

After retirement, Vi traveled extensively throughout the world, played an active role in the lives of her grandchildren, and enjoyed spending summers with her family at her Eagle Lake cottage in Ottertail County, just a few miles from the town of Evansville where she had spent the majority of her childhood.

Vi was a voracious reader. There was never any question as to what to give her on a special occasion- it had to be a book. Each of her daughters received a copy of Webster’s New Collegiate Dictionary as a high school graduation gift, and she kept a copy in the car to answer any vexing etymology question which might arise.

Throughout her life, Vi devoted much of her spare time to supporting her community and church. Her activities included serving on the Board of Directors for the Blue Earth Education Association, and as the President of the Mitchell Chautauqua Society. While in her 80s, she worked as a volunteer for the Blue Earth Hospital Auxiliary, and in her 90s, relished playing her favorite role in costume as the cow in the Click, Clack, Moo production for the traveling Readers’ Theater troupe for elementary students.

Vi was a 60-year member of Trinity Lutheran Church in Blue Earth, where she served on the Board of Education and was a Deacon, as well as Secretary of the Congregation.

Vi Anne Sattre Christensen was a role model in courage and kindness and an inspiration to her children, grandchildren, great grandchildren, students, and all her family and friends. She was a treasure in all our lives, and it is only in grief and with the greatest reluctance that we relinquish her spirit so that she may take that final step in her journey of life and death and life again in the world to come.