Saturday, May 13, 2017




Doris Esther Christopher  (6-10-1923—7-11-1976 ) was the tenth child born to Inga and Carl Christopher at home in Medina, North Dakota. Her siblings are: Glenn Arthur, Jan 7, 1904; Alfred Clifford, Mar. 24, 1907; Roy Willard, Aug 10, 1910; Ruth Lillian, Aug 10, 1912; Lauren Ivan and Lester Carl Aug.5, 1914; Kenneth Orvin, Sept 7, 1916; Otto Vernon,  Dec.19, 1918; Robert Norman,  March 29,1921; and Don Edwin, Sept.10, 1925.
When Doris was small she used to play with dolls, but the boys would take her dolls and scalp them. She liked to watch her brothers box each other and grab rattlesnakes by their tails and snap them. She even tried to snap rattlesnakes herself. Doris moved from Medina to Pequot Lakes, Minnesota, in 1938 then to Arlee, Montana during her elementary school years. She always helped Don with his homework. Doris was very artistic and musical. She loved to dance.  Often Don would play guitar and she would dance and sing on the streets down town for nickels.

Don at 2 and Doris at 4

Lester, Blondie, Doris, Albert in 1941

Albert and Doris Paul  1941

She met Albert Paul at Arlee High School and married him in June 12, 1941 in Missoula. Her brother, Lester, was married at the same time at the Missoula County Court House. They lived in Missoula on 6th street for 12 years while Albert worked at the lumber mill.  Their three girls, Esther, Barbara and Sharon were all born in Missoula.

Doris Albert and Esther

Barbara and Esther welcome baby Sharon

Doris holding Sharon,   Albert with Barbara and Esther

 Their place on 6th street seemed to be the gathering place whenever family get-to-gethers were held.  Often they would host a potluck in their backyard for the Christopher Camp.                                                           
Grandpa Carl with Margie, Barbara, Gloria, Esther, and Faye in back
George, Donna, and Sharon in front


Barbara and Sharon with Uncle Don

Doris with sister  Ruth
They moved to Dixon, Montana around 1955. There she and Albert owned and operated the Paul Mercantile for 17 years. Doris was the drive behind the success of the store. She handled all the financial part of the business.  She never did learn to drive, so Albert did all the driving to get products for the store.   They made a great team.   Doris attended church every Sunday and mostly enjoyed being home with her girls and working in the store when they were at school. 

Esther at family owned store in Sept 1959

Esther  graduated from Montana State University and then took nursing training in Bozeman, Billings and Great Falls. Barbara worked as an assistant at Missoula Western Credit Union and Sharon worked in Home Health Care and became a Certified Nursing Assistant at an Alzheimer’s facility.

Doris at Flathead Lake 1956

1956 Barbara, Esther, with  cousin Dennis Skofstad
Sharon with cousin Jim Skofstad

Doris and Albert sold the store in Dixon and retired to Yuma, Arizona in 1972. They often returned to Missoula in fact they traveled back and forth every year or so until Doris died on July 11, 1976. Doris loved writing letters and especially the family Round Robin letters. She was always on top of things and would write back immediately to anyone sending her a letter.  She enjoyed traveling and visiting with her grandchildren. Doris is known for her sweet, kind and quiet manner.

Paul Family in Dixon 


Esther Bernadette  1-19-42 md. 7-3-1963 Harold Ken Fowler ; 3 children:
Scott Justin Fowler  3-14-1963
Bruce M. Fowler 9-26-1966 
Rob Ty Fowler  12-16-1967--12-17-1967

Nurse Esther 

Ken,  Esther,  Scott, and Bruce



Bruce with dad Ken 

Scott Fowler

Ken and Esther Fowler 


       Barbara Gay 1-1-1944 md.  Carl Erlandson;June 6, 1942; 2 children
                  Kim Karen Erlandson 6-20-69 md. 4-30-1993 Wayne Kananen ; 3 children
                         Emily Lynette Kananen 10-9-95
 Halie Jean Kananen 6-2-97
 Katie Carlene  Kananen11-7-07
     Adam Carl Erlandson  11-24-71 md Louisa Chou Chou Lu; 1 child:
             McKenzie Lu Erlandson 3-14-2014

Kim and Barbara

Emilie Halie and Katie Kananen
Emilie and Halie Kananen
Katie Kananen


Adam and Lu

Adam with McKenzie


Sharon Louise  8-13-46 md. Mike Mitchell Ron Hernandez
             Louise Esther Mitchell  1-14-77;1 child
                        Janie Louise Dee Mitchell  2-29-2012
Rene’ Michele Mitchell  12-20-77; 2 children:
                       Cynthia Robin LaRance  1-3-98
 Madison Mae Stiffarm 6-6-2003 
             Rhonda Joy Marie Hernandez  8-17-81, 2 children:
Korbyn Joseph Pierre 7-14-99
Taylor Rea Pierre  1-16-03 

Sharon in center, daughters Rene' and Rhonda 

Rene'  with daughters Madison and Cynthia

Sharon, Louise, and Janie

Sharon's Daughter Louise with  her Janie
daughter  Rhonda with Corbyn  and  Taylor

Corbyn Pierre

Taylor Pierre


Anyone wanting to add facts or photos to this blogspot, just email me at
and I will add them on to the next post.!! 

Tuesday, August 16, 2016


Don Edwin Christopher was born September. 10, 1925, as the eleventh child born
 to Inga(Olsen) and Carl Christopher in Medina, North Dakota.

Don had eight brothers and two sisters. He spent his younger years until he 

was about eight years old just north of Medina, on the “Christopher Camp.”

Then in 1933 the family moved to Pequot Lakes, Minnesota.  At an early 
age he learned to play guitar.  With his sister Doris, he would sing and 
play on street corners for nickels. He adored Doris; they were very close.
When he was about eleven the family moved to Arlee, Montana. He attended
local schools there. He was a member of Arlee Alliance Church. He 
enjoyed boxing with his brothers an became an as he grew, he became 
an avid horseman and rodeo enthusiast.

Don served in the Army during World War II  serving in the 
Pacific from  December 1943-March 1946. He was a combat infantryman driver and a rifle expert,  He was awarded the
Asiatic Pacific Service Medal, the Good Conduct Medal and 
the Victory Medal. 
Don's nephew, Jim Skofstad, commented on the photo below:

"The badge Don is wearing is the Expert Marksman badge- the highest
qualification. It would have been earned in Basic Training.
I imagine all the Christopher boys were very good marksmen."

in Hawaii

Cecelia Marie (PeeWee) and Don

After serving in the Army, Don came home to settle down in the Arlee
area.  He met Cecilia (PeeWee) Vanderburg possibly at a rodeo as she was a
 jockey at the time, and they were married in 1947.  Linda, Diana and Sandra 
came along in the next few years.

Diana,  Roberta, Randy and Linda

Don was employed by the Burlington Norther Railroad, as a welder and he also used this skill as a hobby to make many decorations, railings, and more. He also worked at a lumber mill and at times as a truck driver.Don was known everywhere as the life of the party. He was outgoing, friendly, fun and always smiling. 

Daughter Linda’a reflection:
“On this Father’s Day weekend, here is our Daddy: WW II veteran, adventurer, horse trader, part-time outlaw, great carpenter, guitar playing singer, comedian, bronc rider, bull rider, steer wrestler, gambler, railroad worker, green chain puller, dare devil, baker of cakes, part time mechanic and a one of a kind Dad. I miss that effervescent twinkle in his eyes and his ability to be a friend to millionaires and ordinary folk alike. Oh no, he wasn't perfect but his tenacity to spring back from hard luck instilled in me, a love for all the crazy, razzle dazzle, and tender moments of life. So hey Dad, I miss your smile, your patriotism on every 4th of July, your crazy rendition of "I fought the law and the law won", your rat hunting rifle, your push button convertible, your home made horse trailer, and the love you bestowed on your diverse group of children. You showed us how to be hard workers and how to survive in a world that knows no pity. Yep, sometimes life is hard, you said...and it was difficult for us all when your luck took a dive. Thanks for visiting in my dreams and telling me not to worry, that you are doing just fine.”

Daughter Diana’s reflections of her Dad
I remember those days growing up  on Mullan Road in Missoula where we lived for a while on a one acre ranch...we had a duck named "Lucy", chickens, pigs, goats cows on different occasions and horses . My" Daddy" as I called him, Donald E. Christopher was a "horse trader". He instilled in me a love for horses as we would go on the rodeo circuit quite a bit...He was the greatest father a person could ever expect to have. From looking at the information about my Grandpa Carl and Grandma Inga I can see where he got his pleasant personality. He could win anyone over with his good gift of gab and a nice singing voice. We would sing to one another and we even performed a comic routine at the talent show in Arlee. Sometimes we would just get together and sing and play the guitar and just make up all kinds of jokes...He was the greatest in my eyes and heart.” 


Diana (WeeZee)
When Don's boys, Vernon, Randy and Guy came
along, Linda, Diana, and Sandra were growing up.  
When Don married Pearl Dursma, two more girls, 
Dawn and ReSena expanded Don's family.

Randy Dawn and Pearl

Don with Dawn


Daughter Dawn shared her memories:

“He once welded and fabricated a metal chariot that he and my
sister, RaSena, rode in for the 4th of July parade. We were dressed
up as clowns and our horse Spot was pulling the chariot. He
loved entering into the 4th of July parade....

One year he made covered wagon, with real wagon wheels that our
horses pulled. That same wagon was purchased by the Sheep Ranch
Inn in Arlee and was used as their store sign. A different year he
built a stagecoach, all out of wood, and our horses were once
again called upon to do the pulling. He had some of his grandkids
as passengers.

I remember something else he built but it wasn't for the parade. 
This was for us. He built a horse drawn sleigh and in December he
would hook the horses up to the sleigh and everyone would get in all
snuggled up under the blankets, coats, hats and of course
the huge scarves that wrapped around you so much that the only
thing showing were your eyes, and go pick out a Christmas tree.
It was a great family time and I truly love that memory.
He loved working with his hands.”

Don with ReSena

Don md (9-27-47) Cecile Marie Vandenburg: 3 children:
 1) Linda Coleen Lydia (4-29-49) md Dallas Howard: 3 children
           Nelson Matthew Howard (9-4-69--5-16-11) 
           Lisa Louise Howard (6-30-72)
           Tatonkaska Howard (6-5-74)

    Linda md Keith Weasel Head   2 Children:
            Amber Diana Weasel Head  (2-16-82)
            Christopher Charles Weasel Head (6-21-84)    
     Also niece Darcie Weasel Head joined the family     

                 2) Diana Louise Christopher (6- 26-51) md Roy E. Pete: 5 Children:
                            Tachini Tia Pete  (10-3-71)
                            Natani Tahi Pete  (8-22-72)
            Shandin Hashkeh Pete (3-15-74)
                            Shonto Kii Pete ( 7-3-79)
                     Diana md James Craft: 2 children:
                                             Crystal Dawn Cecelia Craft (11-3-86)
                                             Tasheena Christina Tish Craft (1-31-89- 5-29-07)
                                      Diana md Michael Joseph Cote (- 1994): 1 Child
                                  Shayla Solana Kuliu Cote (11-10-91)
              3)  Sandra Yvonne  Chistopher (10-20-53)

Don md Angela Marie Fyant: 2 children:
 4) Randall Lee Christopher (6-14-58--6-19-1999) md Debra Bird, 1 child:
             James Derek Wood
 5) Vernon Louis Christopher ( 8-24-60 )1 child:
              Travis Christopher (1991)
   Also Marie's daughter Roberta joined the family

Don and Tilly Morrison: 1 child:
  6) Guy Morrison (9-62)

Don md Pearl Marie Dursma: 2 children:
 7) Dawn Edwina Christopher (11-15-67)  md Travis Wahl  3 children:
            Rylie Michaela Wahl (2-4-98)
            Michael Christopher  Wahl (8-30-02)
            Autumn Elizabeth Wahl (8-26- 2007)
 8) RaSena Ann Christopher (2-8-73) 2 children:
            Samara Rose Rice  (8-22-94)
            Marri RaDawn Christopher  (2-25-99)

Beverly Christopher's quote:
Gene Christopher idolized Don. We went to see him often, even to Evero to watch 
him sing. They fought forest fires together when they were younger. Salute to the Hero!
I have a picture of him playing Santa at our house and Dawn is also in the picture. 
Terry whispered in my ear "Santa looks like Uncle Don." It was a fun night.”

Nephew Jimmy Christopher tells us about the time Don asked him to come and be the babysitter for his little kids at a rodeo he was in.  It was for two days, so they all slept overnight in Don's truck and had  wonderful time.  Don was very good to Jimmy's family when their dad, Clifford, died and they had no transportation.  Don often took them shopping or wherever they needed to go and helped them in so many ways as he was known to do by so many people who knew him.  Don was very close to that family when the kids were little and filled in for his brother with extra love and attention.

Don with nieces Barbara and Sharon Paul


ReSena   Guy   Dawn

Some of Don's Descendants at 4th of July Parade in Arlee

Anyone wanting to add photos/ memories about Don on this page, just email me at lana, and I can add them on the next updated post.