Javis "Jay" Christensen -- Rochester

Jay Christensen passed away on Monday, Jan. 27, 2020, at Arbor Terrace Memory Care. He was born in Rochester on April 29, 1925. He was the only child of Inger and Albert Christensen.

He grew up and attended school in Rochester. Jay enlisted in the Army Air Corp as a senior in high school. He completed basic and advanced training to fly B-52 bombers. The war ended before he saw active duty.

Following the war, Jay returned to Rochester, working beside his father in the construction business, building over 30 homes in his lifetime.

Jay left the construction business to work at the Rochester State Hospital, where he advanced from a cabinet maker to the Director of Plant Operations. He retired after 30 years of service during which time, he was responsible for the physical closure of the facility in 1982.

Jay married Donna Templeton in Tracy, Minn., on Nov. 1, 1947. He was a master woodworking craftsman. For many years, he designed and built custom made furniture for Dayton's Furniture Department in Rochester. He enjoyed fishing, hunting, golf, camping, bowling and traveling with Donna. He was a lifetime member of Bethel Lutheran Church, member of the Rochester Bowling Hall of Fame and long-standing member of the Elks Lodge #1091.

Jay is survived by his children, Marty (Janet) Christensen, Deer River, Karla (John) Lester, Estherville, Iowa, and Sue (Tom) Jamar, Hibbing; six grandchildren, Andy (Sophia) Christensen, Tyler Christensen, Emily (Andy) Inman, Derrick Lester, Kyle Jamar, and Erin Jamar; and one great-granddaughter, Lucia Christensen.

He was preceded in death by his parents, and his wife in 2006.

Funeral services will take place 1 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 8 at Bethel Lutheran Church in Rochester. Visitation will be for one hour prior to the service at the church.

Memorials are preferred to Seasons Hospice, Rochester ( or Bethel Lutheran Church (

Online condolences are welcome at