She was born in Wausau, WI, January 21, 1926, but spent most of her youth in Crandon, WI. After High School graduation at age 17, she moved to Elkhart, IN to work in a munitions factory during WWII. After the war ended, she married the love of her life, Donald Kenneth Christensen. While in Elkhart, they had two daughters, Sally (Douglas) Christensen Christie and Janice (Thomas) Christensen Paul. In 1954 they returned to WI, making Appleton their home for more than thirty years until they retired to Lake Havasu City, AZ in 1986. They returned to WI in 1997 when Donald’s health began to fail, where they resided in Waupaca. For years Ione spent her spare time at church teaching Sunday school, and studying the Bible. She played the organ, Bridge, and studied oil painting. She was a Girl Scout leader. Ione, while in her early 40s, returned to school to get a nursing degree. She was an excellent seamstress who made wedding gowns and formals. She had a gift of hospitality, opening their home to relatives, friends, and an exchange student. Her cooking blessed all who ate it.
She is survived by daughters, Sally (Douglas) Christensen Christie- Waupaca and Janice (Thomas) Christensen Paul- Salem, OR; grandchildren, Jennifer (Todd Smith, husband) Paul- Salem, OR and Ian Christie- Waupaca, WI; sisters, Violet (Richard) Monte- Wausau and Alice (Arthur) Paltridge- Salem, OR; sisters-in-law, Lorraine (Don) Dehart and Shirley (Jerry) Christensen Stevens- Merrill, WI; along with numerous nieces and nephews. She was preceded in death by her parents, Lavila and Daniel Dehart; her husband, Donald Kenneth Christensen; siblings: Betty (Jim) Thomas, Don (Lorraine) Dehart, Danny (Eunice) Dehart, Helen Dehart; and brothers-in-law: Francis, Orvil, Jerry, Harry, and Allan Christensen, Richard Monte, Arthur Paltridge and James Thomas, and sisters-in-law: Hilda and Myrtle Christensen, and Eunice (Danny) Dehart.
The Memorial Service will be Saturday, August 4, 2018 at 5 p.m. at Maple Crest Funeral Home, Waupaca, WI. Friends and family may gather from 4:30 p.m. until the time of the service at the funeral home. In lieu of flowers, a memorial fund is being established to train widows in developing nations to sew. Contributions can be made through Maple Crest Funeral Home.