AUBURN, Mass. - William E.” Bill” Christensen, 95, longtime resident and community volunteer of Auburn, died on Sunday, June 17, 2012.
Bill leaves his best friend and loving wife of 70 years, Barbara E. (Hutchinson) Christensen; two children, Joyce B. Christensen-Bylund of Auburn and Neil E. Christensen and Linda Faulkner of Brant Rock; four wonderful grandchildren, Kristin Bylund-Thurnher of Austria, Daniel of Worcester, David and John Bylund of Auburn; two nieces, Carol LaVigne of Sterling and Nancy Beach of Auburn; two great nephews and one great niece. He was predeceased by a sister, Doris LaVigne.
He was born and raised in Worcester, son of the late William and Evelyn (Carlson) Christensen. He graduated from North High School and began his working career at the former James Smith & Son which manufactured textile machinery. Eventually Bill’s hard work led him to become the owner and, he and his wife Barbara, ran that company for many years. He ended his career owning Sancliff.
He continued his interest in education by putting himself through night school, graduating with degrees from Northeastern University in Engineering and then WPI while working, raising his family and volunteering in his community.
Bill’s service to the town of Auburn was legendary. He began as a Boy Scout master and then served as an appointed volunteer town engineer for many years. He also held positions on the School Committee. the Zoning Board of Appeals, the Auburn Pond Site Development Committee, which eventually led to building the Auburn Public Library and the Auburn Mall. He was instrumental on the Pakachoag Golf Course Committee, Town Government Study Committee, Charter Commission and numerous other committees and subcommittees.
With his sense of generosity and service to the town of Auburn, Mr. Christensen along with his wife, Barbara, founded the Barbara E. and William E. Christensen Fund in 1998. This fund, which is administrated by the Worcester Community Foundation, has and will continue to support human services, the homeless and those most in need in the community.
Although community service and volunteering were very important roles in his life, family was always first in his heart and mind. He continued to encourage and inspire them to the very end. Bill’s lifelong passion was hiking and mountain climbing and he worked to preserve it for others through maintaining a 5-mile section of the Midstate Trail and locating endangered wildflowers for the state. He also found time to be a 32 Degree Mason with the Joel H. Prouty Masonic Lodge in Auburn.
Relatives and friends are invited to visit with Mr. Christensen’s family on Saturday, June 23, 2012 from 10-10:30 a.m. in the Britton-Wallace Funeral Home, 91 Central Street, Auburn. A service celebrating his life will be at 11 a.m. Burial will follow in Pine Grove Cemetery, Boylston.
In lieu of flowers, memorial donations can be made to The Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson Research, Church St Station, P. O. Box 780, New York, NY 10008-0780.
To leave condolences for Mr. Christensen’s family or to view his “Book of Memories” visit www.brittonfuneralhomes.com.