Wednesday, June 15, 2016


Robert Norman Christopher was born March 29, 1921 in Medina, North Dakota. He was the 9th child born at home to Inga Lydia (Olsen) and Carl Christopher. Glenn Arthur, Bob's oldest brother was 17 at the time; Alfred Clifford, was 14, Roy Willard, was 11; Ruth Lillian, was 9; Lauren Ivan, and Lester Carl, were 7. Kenneth Orvin, was 5; Otto Vernon,  was 2. After Bob two more children joined the family: Doris Esther, and Donald Edwin.
Bob was raised on a small farm just outside of Medina, North Dakota in Peterson Township. Around 12 years old he had a job as a sheep herder for about a month. He was off by himself with just a dog and gun guarding the sheep. When Les and Lauren picked him up, he got paid so much that he had money hanging out of every pocket. Around 1933, when Vernon, Bob and Doris and Don were the only children left at home, Carl sold the homestead and lived on the Olsen Family Homestead in Minnesota for a while. Bob remembers going to high school with the Evans boys at Pequot Lakes. Then in 1936, they moved to Arlee, Montana where Lauren, Lester and Ken had settled. Bob attended Arlee High School. He was the manager of the basketball team and was proud to earn an Athletic Letter. He had lots of friends and enjoyed life.

When Bob was only 15, he was in a motorcycle accident at the Missoula County Fairgrounds.  His friend driving the motorcycle was killed and Bob's leg was damaged so severely, it had to be amputated. He wore a leg prosthesis for the rest of his life, but very few people knew he wore it. His swaggered walk was typical cowboy and went right along with the cowboy hat he always wore, and added to his character and charm.

 Bob met Beulah Winner (1921-)
 at high school and they were married 
July 25, 1939. They divorced later in 1944. They had two sons, 
Robert Carl (1940-1944) and 
Bob with Bobby
Harry Eugene (1943-2011) . 


Bob was in Richmond, California during WWII to work at the Kaiser shipyard. 
Bob was a supervisor of a welding crew. One of his biggest disappointments in
life that he could not be in the military and go to the Philippines with some of
his friends, because he was an amputee.

When the war ended, he returned to Arlee. In 1945 he became a
driver/salesman for Eddy's Bakery. He drove the Arlee to Polson route. 

Bob and his siblings were all together after the memorial service for his mother
 who passed away in 1949. 

Glenn, Lauren, Lester, Ken,m Bob and Don

Bob met Juanita Roberts (Mary Juanita Mace, b. April 25, 1925) through Ellen Morin. Ellen was a co-worker at the Missoulian, where Juanita worked, and her husband Alvin had known Bob since high school. They were married October 14, 1950. 

Juanita's daughter, Brenda,  Bob and Juanita lived in Arlee for a while, but shortly thereafter moved to Missoula when Bob's delivery route changed to the Missoula- Drummond-Pillipsburg area.

He ended up delivering far more than just bread. He took bank deposits for most of the businesses in Drummond to the Phillipsburg Bank. He delivered turkeys to stores who had ordered them form a local grower. He even took laundry/dry cleaning from Missoula to Drummond and Phillpsburg customers. He did favors for everyone and in return everyone appreciated him and gave him free breakfasts, candy, turkeys and all sorts of gifts from the various merchants.

Jill Marie joined the family in March 16, 1955. Gene stayed part time with them and part time with his mother. They attended Missoula schools. Bob was offered to change routes again in 1972. This time it was to the Thompson Falls area. He wanted that route so he could move back to Arlee. He had bought property there several years before and had been spending weekends raising horses and farming the land. He was now free to pursue his dream of raising and breeding quarter horses. The kids loved being on the ranch.

He retired from Eddy's Bakery after 32 years of service, but he never retired or ever became tired of working on his ranch. Bob loved talking to his brothers and often told tales of his childhood and adventures they had growing up together. 

Lauren, Bob and Ken in back, Lester and Glenn in front

Glen, Ruth, Lauren, Lester, Ken and Bob

Bob enjoyed family reunions whenever he could and always made relatives 
and visitors to his ranch feel welcome and right at home.  Bob was involved
in Arlee's community in many ways, such as delivering meals from the Arlee
Senior Center for 12 years.

Bob and Ken at Arlee War Memorial

Juanita, Bob with Goldie Indreland and Blondie Rasmussen

Gene grew up and married Beverly Shelton in 1942. 
They lived in Hermiston Oregon and had two sons: Robert and Terrance 
and later six grandchildren: 

Robert with Aunts Jill and Brenda and grandmother Juanita

Terrance with cousins Dawn Wahl and Resena Christopher

Gene and Beverly with grandkids

Brenda married John Beers in 1965 and they had three sons: 
Brian, Christopher and Gary and later two grandaughters, Breanna and 
Blakeley, daughters of Brian and Elizabeth:

John, Elizabeth wife of Brian, Brian in back
Gary, Brenda with Blakeley,  and Chris with Breanna

Jill married Michael Spieker in 1978 and they had two girls, 
Amy and Angela.

Jilll, Angela and Amy

Bob, Juanita, Jill, and Anglea

 Juanita and Bob shared 54 years enjoying their children, their grandchildren, their Montana home near Arlee and the comfort of each other. Bob always had a dry sense of humor and a smile a mile wide. He was admired and loved by all who knew him.  Bob was 83 years old when he passed away on Thursday, Dec. 9, 2004 in Missoula, Montana. 


Anyone wanting to add photos or stories to this post can email
 them to me at and I will add them on the next update of this blog.

Saturday, May 28, 2016


Alfred Clifford  March 24, 1907 was born in Medina, North Dakota. He was the 2nd child born of 11 children to Inga Lydia (Olsen) and Carl Christopher. His other siblings are: Glenn Arthur, (January 7, 1904; 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); Doris Esther, (June 10, 1923); and Donald Edwin, (Sept 10, 1925).
Clifford was never really called Alfred. He was the horseman in the family. He went through the home course of Berry School of Horsemanship.  His brother Ken tells the story about one year that he and his partner came back from the badlands and each rode a horse followed by a pack horse and a bunch of hounds.  His white horse was quite the animal and no one else could ride him  One day he was going to take him out of the barn, but the barn door happen to hit the horse as he went out the door and the horse took off bucking with the saddle on.  He ran right through a fence and broke his leg.  That was a sad day for everyone.  The prize horse had to be shot as there was no way to fix his leg.
Clifford lived in Arlee for a while with his brothers and went back to visit in Medina where he met Florence. He married Florence Catherine Fisher (July 9, 1907-June 27, 1989), on Oct. 7, 1936, Missoula, Montana at the County Court House. They had four children all born in Missoula hospitals, but their home was in Rivelet. Carol Joy (Jan 31, 1939-Aug 5, 2010), James Franklin (June 28, 1940), Ivan Carl (Aug 5, 1941-Nov 7, 2012), Thomas Edward, (May 7, 1944) 

Thursday, May 26, 2016


Otto Vernon, born December 19, 1918, was the 8th child born in Medina, North Dakota,   to Inga Lydia (Olsen) and Carl Christopher. His other siblings are: Glenn Arthur,   (January 7, 1904); Alfred Clifford, (March 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); Robert Norman, (March 29, 1921); Doris Esther, (June 10, 1923); and Donald Edwin, (Sept 10, 1925).
Otto was always known as Vernon O. Christopher. About 1933, he moved with his parents, younger brother Donald, and sister Doris to Pequot Lakes, MN, where he is remembered as helping the Olsen and Erikson relatives on their ranches. His older brothers, Lauren, Lester, Kenneth, and younger brother Robert settled in Arlee, Montana, so the rest of the family moved to Arlee around 1936. He was known as the talented one, the family artist because he could draw like crazy. Also, he was an avid hunter and fisherman.

Vernon began high school in Arlee then moved to Martinez, California with his brothers to work in the shipyards there. He completed high school there. He became a Petroleum Storage Technitian and a welder.  

Later,  on October 5, 1942 he married Genevieve Sylva in Martinez where they lived until Vernon joined the United States Army Air Corps on Oct. 11, 1943. 
After about 6 months there, he was sent to Fort Leavenworth, Kansas for training. Only five days after his arrival, on May 2, 1944 he was killed as an out of control army truck crashed into his squadron while they were marching along a military road. He is buried at the National Cemetery in St. Bruno, California. In his short time in the Army,  Private Vernon O. Christopher had already earned recognition as an expert marksman. 

Vernon and his brother Roy are remembered on the Arlee, Montana War Memorial:


Roy Willard was born August 10, 1910 in Medina, North Dakota  He was the 3rd child of 11 children born to Inga Lydia Olsen and Carl Christopher.  He attended elementary school and High School all. four years there.  His father often wrote about him in the columns of the Peterson Township section of the Medina Citizen Newspaper:

Those who received 100 per cent       .
in spelling last week were:
Nellie Peterson, Frances Todd,
Elof L
undstedt, Malcolm Peter-
son, Caroline Gahl, Anna Gah l
Roy _ ,Christopher and James
Todd.~·           .'             .

 :~ Roy Christopher visited over\
Kidderr county a few days
last week and while gone traded a;
 Remington shotgun for a Hop-' '
Ikins & Allen rifle, and seems to:
I be well pleased with the deal.

 Roy Christopher got home
from the Twin Cities On
last Thursday He also visited
in northern Minnesota while
gone, taking in some of the
famous summer resorts, such
as the Breezy Point, Lost Is-
land Lake and No Man's
[Land.___________. __ ~

; Roy Christopher and John
Peterson are employed with the
 ________________________________ . __ ~

Roy was a member of the North Dakota National Guard while living in Medina. He worked for the Bell Telephone Company (1929). Roy enjoyed all outdoor activities especially hunting and fishing. He once made the remark that the Army liked farm boys as they were usually sharp shooters
Prior to joining the United States Army, Roy moved to California to work in the defense plants, returning to Montana when he was called to active duty. He was assigned to Troop E. 91 st Reconnaissance Squadron. He was a tank mechanic stationed in Italy. He advanced to the office of Staff Sergeant. Roy was killed at Pietranala, Mount Beni, Italy on Feb. 20, 1945 during World War II
He is buried at the Golden Gate National Cemetery, San Bruno,
nia, the same place his brother, Vernon, was buried the previous year
The Purple Heart Award was issued to Roy posthumously honoring his sacrifice in defense of his country and was sent along with a letter to his father on April 20, 1945.. The letter read:           "My Dear Mr.Christopher:
The President has requested me in inform you that the Purple Heart 
has been awarded posthumously to your son, Staff Sergeant 
Roy W. Christopher, Cavalry, who sacrificed his life in defense of his
country.The medal, which you will receive shortly, is of slight
intrinsic value, but rich with thtradition for which Americans are 
so gallantly giving their lives. The Father of our countrywhos
profile and coat  of arms adorn the medal, speaks from it acros
the centuries to the men who fight today for the proud freedom he
foundedNothing the War Department can do or say will in any
sense repair the loss of youloved one. He has gone, however, in
honor and in the goodly companof patriots. Let me, in 
communicating to you the country's deep sympathy
also express to you its gratitude for his valor and devotion."

His brother, Ken visited the graves of his two brothers at the 
Golden Gate Cemetery and played his harmonica for them. 
On the map of the cemetery, Ken wrote the following sentiment 
noting the day he visited.

Thanks to Ken and his grandaughter Heather Stiles for sharing
 these articles with us.