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Doris Ann Christianson

Doris Ann Christianson, 78, of Fosston, formerly of Bemidji, died Sunday, Jan. 11, 2009 at First Care Hospital in Fosston.

A memorial Mass will be held at 11 a.m. Thursday at St. Mary's Catholic Church in Fosston with the Rev. Dave Super officiating. Visitation will be held one hour prior to the service at the church. Burial will be in St. Joseph's Catholic Cemetery in Red Lake Falls, Minn., in the spring.

Carlin-Hoialmen Funeral Home of Fosston assisted the family with arrangements.

She was born Jan. 15, 1930, to Peter and Katherine (Schacher) Abeldgaard in Stanley, N.D. She lived in Stanley until she was 5 and then moved to McIntosh, Minn., with her family.

She married James Grandbois Oct. 25, 1947, at St. Mary's Catholic Church in Red Lake Falls. They raised eight children together on a farm south of Red Lake Falls until the unexpected death of her husband. She was a strong mother and continued to raise her children alone on the farm.

She married Orian Henry (Christy) Christianson Feb. 23, 1963, at St. Joseph's Catholic Church in Red Lake Falls. They combined their two families, her eight children and his three children. They raised 11 children until the last child came along, making it a dozen.

They raised all 12 children and helped them to graduate from Fosston High School, while owning and operating the ambulance service for the area.

The couple moved to Alaska, where they owned a gift shop on the ocean in Homer, Alaska, until their official retirement. After her husband died, she began to work as a greeter at Wal-Mart in Mesa, Ariz., and in Bemidji.

She was one of the first hospice volunteers for the First Care Medicare Hospice program. She was a past president of the Fosston Hospital Auxiliary. During her tenure, she was able to raise enough money to obtain the first color televisions for the facility. She was past president of the American Legion Auxiliary.

From an early age she learned to farm, drive tractors, sew, crochet, knit, and make crafts of all kinds. She also enjoyed cooking and baking, music, playing the accordion and dancing and especially took pride in building carousel horses with her husband, Christy.

She is survived by her children, Thomas Grandbois of Fosston, Marcia Dearman of Spokane, Wash., Charlotte (Steve) Olson of Chaska, Minn., Daniel Grandbois of Fosston, Kathleen (Bob) Drellack of Fosston, Ivy Burggraff of Nashwauk, Minn., Gemma (Larry) Scott of Fosston, Theresa (Willis) Ihrke of Lengby, Michael (Kathy) Grandbois of Mentor, Minn., and Debbie (Michael) Balluff of Oak Grove, Minn; and 27 grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

She was preceded in death by her parents; her husbands; an infant son; a son, Terry Christianson; a daughter, Susan Haugen, two grandsons; and her sister, Lettie Kisner.

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