Elaine Margaret Masschelin Christenson, 74, of Linesville, passed away at her home on Tuesday, May 21, 2013.
She was born Oct. 13, 1938, in Tipton, Kan., the youngest of six children, to Mary Vermeulen Masschelin and Adolph H. Masschelin. The family moved to East Moline, Ill., when Elaine was 3 and then to Tokyo, Japan, when she was in high school. Elaine graduated with honors from Narimasu American High School in Tokyo in 1956. She then moved back to the United States and attended Miami University in Oxford, Ohio, majoring in Spanish and pre-nursing.
She married her first husband, Clarence Paul Szanca, in September 1959. In the 1960s, she was employed as a bilingual secretary for John Deere Intercontinental in Moline, Ill., and as an executive secretary at General Motors, Euclid Division, in Ohio. In the mid-1960s, they moved to their home on Pymatuning Lake in Linesville, where she resided until her death. After the passing of her first husband, Elaine married Robert Paul Christenson Sr. in 1973 and had two children with him.
For about six years, Elaine was employed by The Community News newspaper in Linesville when it first began being published in the late 1980s. She was then employed by the Conneaut Lake Joint Municipal Authority as an office manager for approximately 11 years prior to retirement in 2004. Elaine also ran the Lakeland Equestrian Center in Linesville for a few years in the early 1990s.
She was loved by all who knew her and will always be remembered for living life to the fullest. She was known for her beautiful smile, kind heart and quick wit. She loved animals, dogs especially, and used to compete in obedience trial competitions. She also loved the outdoors and country life, a love she passed on to her children. Elaine enjoyed boating and fishing at Pymatuning Lake and Conneaut Lake as well. Her greatest joy in life was spending time with her children and grandchildren.
Elaine is survived by her two children, James Edward Christenson and his wife, Jessica, of Chippewa Lake, Ohio, and Joan Elaine Christenson of Warren, Pa.; two grandchildren, Jack and Alexandra Christenson; one sister, Mary Ann Bartholomew of Anchorage, Alaska; many nieces and nephews; and her special companion who never left her side for the last 10 years, her dog, Ellie.
She was preceded in death by both husbands; parents; four siblings, Anna Brooks, Elmer (Ed) Masschelin, Albert Masschelin and Jack (Jr.) Masschelin; and a nephew, Tom Bartholomew.
As per her request, cremation will take place and a memorial service will be held at a later date at the convenience of the family.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests that memorial donations be made, in honor of Elaine, to The ANNA Shelter (for animals), 1555 E. 10th St., Erie, Pa. 16511.
Arrangements are under the direction of Royal-Coleman Funeral Home, 6028 U.S. Highway 6, Linesville.
Please share a condolence or memory of Elaine for the family at royalcolemanfuneralhome.com.