Ione Mae (Wiertzema) Christensen went to her heavenly home on Thursday, December 16, 2021. Ione was born April 30, 1937, to Samuel and Anna (Pasch) Wiertzema on the family farm near Doran, MN. She attended elementary school in Doran and went on to graduate from Breckenridge High School in 1955. After high school, she worked as the bookkeeper for the Kent Doran Grain Company where she developed a liking for the good-looking farmer down the road. On June 1, 1957, she married the love of her life James (Jim) L. Christensen and they began a life of faith, family, friendships, and farming.
Ione worked side by side with Jim on their farm near Doran. Raising 2 daughters Jane and Joan and 2 sons Jeff and Jimmy; aka the “4 J’s”. She loved being a farmer’s wife and worked hard planting a garden, canning, and freezing vegetables, and raising chickens. She kept meals on the table or during harvest brought the table to the field. She spent many hours sewing clothes and making quilts for her family. In 1995 Ione and Jim retired and moved to Breckenridge where they lived until moving to St. Catherine’s in April of 2021.
Her greatest love was for her Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, which was evident in everything she did. She loved hosting family and friends in her home and was an excellent cook and baker. She made people feel loved with her beautifully set tables, special meals, and treats; just ask the grandkids! She loved playing Rook, Yahtzee, or even croquet, and her competitive nature made for many rousing game nights with family and friends. This competitive nature may have started as a young girl playing basketball in the Doran Girls Athletic Association. She was most happy watching her children and then her grandchildren play sports, especially basketball and football. She barely missed a game and was seen at an NDSCS basketball game just a few weeks ago.
Ione was an active member of her church; teaching Sunday School, writing Christmas Programs, and volunteering wherever and whenever she could. Ione loved being a part of the Christian Women’s Club and enjoyed leading many home Bible studies. She was a proud member of the Breckenridge Homemakers Club No.1 and enjoyed the many friendships she gained from the club.
Ione’s loving, generous spirit will be greatly missed by Jim, her husband of 64 plus years. Her daughter Joan Wileman and her husband Dan, her sons, Jeffery and his wife Rebekah, Jim and his wife Fran. Her son-in-law Cameron Gage. Grandchildren Jessica and her husband Andrew Engdahl, Jennifer and her husband Samuel Piper, Caleb and his wife Jacie, Jordan, Ally, Elijah and his wife Holly, Micah and his finance Vanessa, Noah, Jonah, Ezra, Luke, and Levi Christensen and six great-grandchildren. Her brothers Sam and his wife Janet, Del and his wife Kathy. Her sister Linda Ozmun and her husband Gene. Her sisters-in-law Mardell Hall and Mary Wiertzema. Many cousins, nieces, nephews, and dear friends.
Ione is joyfully reunited in heaven with an infant son, daughter Jane Gage, her parents and brothers, Myron, Neal, Larry, and his wife Lois. Her sister Joyce McCann and her husband Cecil.
Visitation will be held on Tuesday, December 21, 2021, from 5 PM to 7 PM at Joseph Vertin & Sons Funeral Home in Breckenridge. Visitation will continue Wednesday, December 22, 2021, at Harvest Outreach Church in Wahpeton from 10 AM to 11 AM followed by her 11 AM funeral service. Burial will be held in Riverside Cemetery in Breckenridge. A live stream of the service will be available on the funeral home's website.
Obituary submitted by Ione’s loving family.