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JOHN A. CHRISTIANSON  Obituary pic

JOHN A. CHRISTIANSON

Born: Sep 23, 1923

Date of Passing: Dec 15, 2010

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JOHN A. CHRISTIANSON November 23, 1923 - December 15, 2010 Our beloved Dad and Afi passed away this week. We will miss him dearly. John always celebrated his humble roots in Big Point and Langruth, and went on to make a significant contribution in many areas of commerce, public policy and education. Left to mourn John are his wife Gwen Bailey, sons Jon (Connie, Lisa (Craig Desautels) and Michael) and David (Vera, Sarah and Taylor), sister Hope Carroll and nieces and nephews Chris, Barry, Sally, Elaine, Bjorn, Peter, Eric, Catherine, Signe, Sonja and Stephanie and their wonderful families, and brother-in-law Bill (Barbara) Fairbairn, and sisters-in-law Shirley and Phoebe Christianson. John was predeceased by wife Beverly, brothers Arden and Conrad, brother-in-law Jack Carroll, and nephew John Carroll. After serving as a pilot in the Second World War, John helped run the family John Deere and car dealership. As MLA for Portage la Prairie in the Duff Roblin government, John was Manitoba's first Minister of Welfare and was instrumental in the decision to build the Portage Diversion. With his brothers, he used his engineering degree and entrepreneurial drive to develop Koko Platz, a housing development in Portage. John's next career was in education, starting with a teaching degree, a Masters in Educational Psychology, teaching grade six, and writing Manitoba's first study on the education of emotionally disturbed children. He went on to be first president of Mini Skools day care centres, and personally opened 48 schools across North America. During this time, Colonel Christianson was inducted as an official Kentucky Colonel. After further pursuing his counselling education in Los Angeles, he became a student counsellor at the University of Winnipeg, until retiring. For John, however, retirement didn't stick, and his lifetime of experience and education was tested when he became co-founder and vice-chair of Canadian International College, an English language university for Japanese students, with campuses in North Vancouver and Nelson, BC. John supervised the conversion of David Thomson College into the original campus in Nelson, and he was in charge of the design and construction of the Vancouver campus, from land acquisition to opening and operations. Most importantly, John has been a loving husband and father, grandfather and brother, mentor and catalyst. As was his ambition, he left the world a better place than he found it. He will be fondly remembered in every city he lived, including Portage, Winnipeg, Vancouver, Los Angeles and Sun Lakes, Arizona. We express our deepest appreciation to the amazing staff on ward GH4 at the Health Sciences Centre for their great care, concern and compassion. Thank you for all your help. A memorial service and celebration will be held at The Gates on Roblin, 6945 Roblin Boulevard, from 3:00 to 5:00 p.m. on Wednesday, December 22. In lieu of flowers, consider a donation to Cancer Care Manitoba or the Health Sciences Centre Foundation, in John's name.

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As published in the Winnipeg Free Press on Dec 17, 2010

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