Gene Christiaansen

Gene Christiaansen, a former Waukesha resident and high school graduate, and masterís degree graduate of the University of Wisconsin-Stout (1967) and college campus administrator, died Wednesday, July 11, 2007, at age 65 in Sandpoint, Idaho.

Christiaansen was an instructor at the Rice Lake Campus under James W. Covey, campus administrator for three years before becoming the curriculum coordinator and acting campus administrator.

He was appointed campus administrator by the district board in 1972 and held that position through program expansions and a new $2.6 million campus construction project located adjacent to the Barron County Campus.

He was active in the Rice Lake Kiwanis Club, served on the Barron County Agriculture Land Preservation Act and the Barron County Overall Economic Development Plan. He also served on the City Seniors Center Board.

In 1980, the Christiaansen family made the transition from rural Rice Lake to the state capitol of Helena, Mont., to fulfill the state, local and federal responsibilities of the state director for vocational education.

In 1989, Christiaansen was selected to serve as the campus president of the Southwest Minnesota Technical College System, Canby, Minn. He served three years as president in addition to coordinator for the Chicago-based North Central Accreditation Association of Colleges and Universities.

In 1992, a transition from Canby was made to Lake Superior College of Duluth, Minn., where responsibilities were fulfilled within academic vice president and academic dean positions.

Retirement was initiated in 2002 to Sandpoint, but soon was replaced by part-time seasonal employment at Schweitzer Ski Resort, Hidden Lakes Golf Resort and Coldwater Creek Inc.

He is survived by his wife of 45 years, Helene Christiaansen of Sandpoint; children, Amy Hanser and husband Brett of Missoula, Mont., Britt Christiaansen and significant other Mike Rae of Portland, Ore., Eric Christiaansen and wife Marjorie of Billings, Mont., Matthew Christiaansen and wife Tori of Elk River, Minn., and Brian Christiaansen and wife Trista of Sioux Fall, S.D.; four grandsons; and one granddaughter. He is also survived by his brothers, Duwayne (Cotton) and wife Sue of Waukesha, Robert (Bob) of Verona and an Uncle Milton and Wyline Hermann of Shreveport, La.

Funeral services will be held at 3 p.m. Monday, July 16, at Coffeltís Funeral Chapel, 109 N. Division St., Sandpoint. The Rev. Mitchell Jones of Atonement Lutheran Church of Missoula will officiate.

Memorial donations may be made to Kiwanis International Scholarship Fund in care of the Sandpoint, Idaho, Kiwanis Club and Bonner Community Hospice.

Family and friends are invited to read Geneís obituary and sign his online guest book at

Funeral arrangements are under the care of Coffelt Funeral Service, (208) 263-3133.