April 1,1929 – August 9, 2007
It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of Dr. Gustav Stroem Christensen. Born April 1, 1929 on the small island of Laesoe, Denmark, he was the second youngest of 9 children. From a tiny schoolhouse, “Gus” went on to a successful Danish merchant marine career, followed by 27 years tenure as Professor of Electrical Engineering at the University of Alberta in Edmonton. In 1957 he won the Engineering Institute of Canada’s prize as well as the Henry Birks Gold Medal in Engineering, graduating with High Distinction. Professor Christensen obtained a B.Sc. in Engineering Physics from the University of Alberta, Edmonton in 1958 followÂed by a M.A.Sc. from the University of British Columbia, Vancouver in 1960. After having spent 3 years in Canadian industry, he subsequently obtained his Ph.D. in 1966 also in Electrical Engineering, from the University of British Columbia. Professor Christensen is widely published having written 145 scientific papers, co-authored 6 books and co-authored 4 chapters in 4 books.
Gus retired to the coastal climate of British Columbia in 1993 and settled in Mission. While in Mission he was a devoted volunteer of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints and its Abbotsford Family History Centre. Gus and his wife Penny wrote several books about their genealogy and shared this with their family. At the age of 75, Gus secured an adjunct professorship at Simon Fraser University and had research and graduate student responsibilities. In 2007 Gus published two important papers which revolutionized stability system theory and application, each improving upon a 120 year-old advanced mathematical technique. He was honored with a special award from Mission Mayor and Council and Gus’ work will be used by scientists in many fields to improve the world.
Gus was a kind man, loving life, family and travel. Our “Dadman” enjoyed helping people and always had a warm smile to offer. Gus’s health had deteriorated over the years but he valiantly pushed ahead through the challenges, always keeping family, friends, church and engineering in the forefront of his life and thoughts. Some of his favorite times included cozy family gatherings, traveling with his kids, and solving complex mathematical problems. Over the past little while he did reminisce about his life and was pleased to see his life’s work complete, find his children grown and settled, and enjoy the close relationship he and his wife shared with their Church.
Gus is sadly mourned by his beloved wife Penelope, daughter Lynne, son Neil, brother Carl and family, brother Teddy and family, sister Erna and family, and numerous nieces, nephews, friends, and engineering associates.
Special thanks to Dr. John Rees, Dr. Greg Lewis, numerous other doctors, as well as staff at Mission Memorial Hospital and MSA Abbotsford Hospital for their help with Gus’ medical care.
A memorial service will be held at 3 pm, Wednesday, August 15, 2007, Abbotsford Stake Center, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, 30635 Blueridge Drive, Abbotsford, BC V2T 5W3. Flowers or donations in Gus’ memory to the Heart and Stroke Foundation would be appreciated.