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Thursday March 09, 2023

CHRISTENSEN, Karl – surrounded by his loving family at the Norview Lodge Nursing Home, Simcoe on Thursday, March 9th, 2023 in his 77th year.  Beloved husband of Christine (nee Ray) Christensen of Simcoe.  Loving father of Richard Christensen (Andrea Dreger) of Hagersville, children Katie (Alex), Andrew, Erik, Sarah & Owen;  David Christensen (Elaine) of Hagersville, children Morgan, Karl & William;  and Brenda Snyder (Tom) of Caledonia, children Felicia (Bryn), Thomas (Sarah), Eddy (Celina), Henry (Sarah), Olivia, Ellie & Emerson.  Karl will be sadly missed by siblings Else Clark (late Henry) of Brantford, Grete Knowles (Brian) of Paris, Jens Christensen (Aase) of Guelph, Tove Morgan (Brian) of King City, Niels Christensen of Guelph, Sally Christensen of Woodstock, Mikael Christensen (Janice Elgersma) of Hagersville and Edward Christensen (Tina) of Jarvis.  Cherished great grandfather of Addison & TJ.  Karl’s story begins in the country of Denmark, where he and his parents and as yet only five (what would eventually become 8) other siblings emigrated from when Karl was 10 years old.  The family moved directly to Manitoba where his father was employed on a ranch/farm operation near Selkirk.  Here is where Karl developed his love of horses, cattle, and all things farming.  It is also the place where he developed a solid work ethic that was to serve him well for the rest of his days.  Some of his fondest early memories were of his time spent on the range caring for the livestock from the back of a horse, the life of a cowboy realized for a short while.  Circumstances would have it that the family would move to Caledonia Ontario on the bank of Big Creek when Karl was 16.  It just so happened that the farm was directly across the road from the Hamilton Hunt Club, a place that was to influence his life and that of his future family for his remaining years.  Dad begged his parents to allow him to quit high school in the 11th grade in order to work at the club as the Whipper-in, they capitulated and this is where the journey of his adulthood began.  This is the place where he was to meet his wife of 54 years, his future employer of 50 years, and countless long-time friends.  After a short courtship, Karl, 21 and Christine 18, were married in the summer of 1968.  The Hunt Club realizing that they could not financially support two married couples, (the huntsman had married a short time previous), made other arrangements for Karl’s employment.  Bill Bermingham MFH of Bermingham Construction, offered Karl a job as yard labourer.  His first position there with the company could be characterized as starting on the bottom rung of a ladder stuck two feet in mud.  Despite starting from the bottom, he was able to prove himself and was promoted relatively quickly to the position of job-site foreman. Karl will forever be known as a “company man”, he loved the people and the institution that afforded him an opportunity to build a well earned and comfortable lifestyle as well as a platform on which to prove himself as a necessary member of a great and storied enterprise.  Through several promotions along the management chain, he finally retired at the age of seventy in the position of Operations Manager of the Construction Division.  Karl had two other significant aspects of his life’s interest, his livestock breeding and fox hunting.  After purchasing their dream farm in the summer of 1983, the couple began down a long and engaging road of breeding purebred beef cattle and later, crossbred field hunters. It was also on this farm that they got down to the interesting, challenging and fulfilling business of raising three teenagers to adulthood.  Affording his children steady measures of guidance, provision, opportunity and freedom, were some of the hallmarks of his approach to parenting, all coming from a place of true love.  Karl’s involvement with the Hamilton Hunt Club has spanned a lifetime. It has provided an immense amount of both entertainment and fulfillment for him. Karl was humbled when asked to join the Mastership of the club in 2006, a position that he fulfilled with distinction till the end.  This short synopsis of Karl’s history that has been presented to you, only just begins to give the true measure of the breadth and depth of the effect he had on all of the lives he touched.  Our family hopes that you will join us at the farm on June 10th, 2023 to honour and celebrate Karl’s life from 1:00 p.m. until the cows come home. Plenty of food and refreshments will be provided, a few choice beers and plenty of wee drams for toasting.  The JASON SMITH FUNERAL CHAPEL, 689 Norfolk St. North Simcoe in care of arrangements.  Personal online condolences at (519) 426-0199

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