Leland Christopherson, 93, a longtime Williston resident formerly of Havre, passed away Thursday, Nov. 22, 2012, at Mercy Medical Center in Williston, N.D.
His funeral was celebrated Monday morning, Nov. 26, 2012, at Gloria Dei Lutheran Church at 10:30 a. m. The Rev. Steve Anderson officiated, and interment is planned at Hillside Memory Gardens, Williston.
Leland Milton Christopherson was born Jan. 22, 1919, at the ol’ Houston place near Epping, N.D. to Otto and Thora (Nelson) Christopherson. He was raised on the family farm, attended a rural grade school, and graduated from Epping High School in 1937.
After his schooling, he served in the Civilian Conservation Corps, or CCC, from 1937 to ’38. He began a long career on the railroad that would stretch from 1941 until 1982, interrupted only by his service to his country during World War II.
He enlisted in the US Army on July 22, 1944, at Fort Snelling, Minn. He served as a combat infantryman with the 11th Armored Division in the European Theater of War: Ardennes, France, Rhineland and Central Europe. He was awarded the Good Conduct Medal, Combat Infantry Expert Rifleman Badge, American Theater Service Medal, European-African-Middle Eastern Theater Service Medal and Two Overseas Service Bars. He was honorably discharged March 19, 1946.
He started with the Great Northern Railroad as a fireman until 1947 and thereafter was an engineer until his retirement. During most of these years he lived in Havre. He moved to Great Falls, and later Williston in 1992, and spent several winters at Apache Junction, Ariz.
He was a member of Masonic Lodge 55, Havre, Elks Lodge 1214, Moose Lodge 239, Williston Odd Fellows, 11th Armored Division Association, the Burlington Northern Santa Fe Veterans Association and Epping Lutheran Church.
Leland enjoyed fishing, woodworking and playing cards. He was very proud to have made a veteran’s Honor Flight to Washington, D.C., several years ago with his fellow local veterans.
His survivors include two sons, Leland Philip (Myrna) Christopherson of St. Marys, Ga., and Lon (Mary) Christopher-son of Gillette, Wyo. ; two daughters, Laura Thornhill of Edmonds, Wash., and Shari (Roy) Pierce of Casper, Wyo. ; his brother, Donald (Betty) Christopher-son of Epping; his sister, Violet Thomas of Williston; 10 grandchildren, 10 great-grandchildren; two great-great-grandchildren; a sister-in-law, Dorothy Christopherson of Williston; and numerous nieces and nephews.
He was preceded in death by his parents, Otto and Thora; two brothers, Arley and Walter; and his sister, Patricia Stenson.
All are welcome to visit www.eversonfh.com to share memories of Leland or condolences with the family.
Calling hours were at Everson Funeral Home Sunday afternoon and Monday morning at Gloria Dei for the hour preceding the service.
The Everson Funeral Home of Williston is caring for the family.