David Edmun Christensen

1921 - 2014

David Emun Christensen, Professor Emeritus at Southern Illinois University Carbondale (SIU), died July 28, 2014, at the age of 93. He will be missed by the faculty and staff in the Department of Geography and Environmental Resources, as well as the SIU and Carbondale communities.

Born in Ashland, WI, on February 17, 1921, Christensen served as an aircraft maintenance officer during World War II, attaining the rank of captain. He earned his doctorate at the University of Chicago and went on to teach geography, cartography, and urban planning at Florida State University and SIU. At SIU, he also served as the chair of the Department of Geography and as Associate Dean of the College of Liberal Arts.

Both during his academic career and since his retirement in 1984, he served the university and the community in several capacities. He was a member of the Carbondale Planning Commission for 21 years and served for several years as a member of the AARP Illinois State Legislative Committee and on AARP’s National Legislative Commission. In 1995 he was a delegate to the White House Conference on Aging.

He was a prolific writer, publishing several books on topics as diverse as poetry and population growth. His latest book, “This Apocalyptic Century” was published just this spring. He remained active in environmental, political and international affairs throughout his adult life.

In retirement, Dave and his wife Carol enjoyed extensive worldwide travel to numerous countries including China, Italy, and Turkey. Carol died in 2003 after 57 years of marriage. Dave was also preceded in death by his parents, Emun and Carrie; and both of his brothers, Ed and Alan. He is survived by his sister, Dot; and his four children, Dan (Dianne), Alan, Karen (Vic), Shari (Judy). He is also survived by his six grandchildren, Laura, Brian, Vic, Cassie, Nicole and Megan.

Memorials may be made to Carbondale Unitarian Fellowship Mortgage Fund or the David and Carol Christensen Undergraduate Research Award Fund in Geography and Political Science at Southern Illinois University in Carbondale.