Obituary: Merle Arthur Christianson

Nov. 24, 1920 – March 16, 2019 

Merle Arthur Christianson, 98, of Sturgeon Bay died at Door County Medical Center with family at his side.

He was born in Sawyer (now the west side of Sturgeon Bay), the son of William Arthur Christianson Sr. and Hannah (Oenes) Christianson. Merle graduated from Sturgeon Bay High School in 1938. He enlisted to serve his country with the United States Army during WWII, entering into active duty on March 20, 1945. He was honorably discharged from service on December 7, 1946.

Merle married Clarice June Peterson on September 23, 1950, at Bay View Lutheran Church in Sturgeon Bay, where they initially met and remained lifelong members. He owned and operated the City Service Station on the west side of Sturgeon Bay at the corner of S. Madison Avenue and E. Pine Street for five years. In an effort to allow kids something to do, Merle established Christy’s Cue, a pool bar located on the east side of Sturgeon Bay on Louisiana Street. In the 1970s, he owned and operated Service Cab, a taxi service, for 10 years until his retirement.

Those who knew Merle, and even those he just met, were often greeted with a poem. Merle had an amazing ability to recite poems (some extremely long) from memory and probably had at least 40 to 60 poems memorized. He was an excellent sleeper, able to fall asleep in minutes and wake up just in time for dinner. Merle loved his church and his family.

His memory will live on in the hearts of his dear wife, Clarice, with whom he was blessed with more than 68 years of marriage; three children, Sandra (James) Simonar of the Town of Nasewaupee, Mark (special friend, Chrystal) Christianson of Sturgeon Bay, and Penni (Mike) Alexander of Las Vegas, Nevada; two grandchildren, Maria and Kes Alexander; two siblings, Millard Christianson of Sturgeon Bay and June Ehrbar of Green Bay; other relatives; and friends.

Merle was preceded in death by his parents; granddaughter, Hannah; two siblings, (infant) Delores and William “Bill” (Imogene “Imie”) Christianson Jr.; two siblings-in-law, Iris Christianson and Ernie Ehrbar.

A memorial service will be held at 4 pm on Wednesday, March 20, at Bay View Lutheran Church in Sturgeon Bay, with Pastor David Raben officiating. Military honors by the United States Army and VFW Post #3088 will follow at the church. Burial will be in Mount Olive Cemetery.

Visitation for family and friends will be held at the church on March 20 from 2:30 p.m. until the time of the service.

“Our family would like to extend a special thank-you to the ICU staff at Door County Medical Center for taking wonderful care of Merle.”

Huehns Funeral Home and Door County Crematory are assisting the Christianson family. Expressions of sympathy, memories and photos of Merle can be shared through his tribute page at

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