The family of Neil Christopherson, beloved husband of Elaine, sadly announce his passing on Friday, October 15, 2021 in the Canora Hospital. He was 73 years of age.
Neil was born on April 2, 1948 to Alvar and Nellie (Olson) Christopherson at the Preeceville Hospital in Preeceville, Sk. Neil was the second youngest amongst his 4 siblings, Muriel, Murray, Gail, and Lynn.
Neil grew up on the family farm a mile east of Sturgis, where he would hunt rabbits and deer in between doing his chores. His love for the outdoors started at an early age as he would often bike to town with his childhood friend Don Olson to fish at the river, often stopping at Chimko’s building to buy a banana with the change he had in his pocket. He was also a member of the 4-H Grain Club. Neil attended Sturgis Elementary, followed by Sturgis Composite High School for the remainder of his education. He graduated from high school in 1966.
As a young man, Neil had a great love for the outdoors and spent a great deal of time fishing and hunting with his good friends. Later in his life, one of his favourite places to be was at elk camp with his friends Brian, Jim, and Mervin. When he wasn’t hunting or fishing, he kept busy playing sports of all kinds, excelling at fastball, broomball, hockey, golf, and his favourite of all, curling. With his good friends Brian, Greg, Daryl, and Bucky, Neil would enter numerous curling bonspiels all around the countryside, becoming very well known for winning many of these events. They even made a run at the Brier playdowns during the height of their game. Neil was also a member of the Kinsmen club, a founding member of the Assiniboine Gun Club, a Wildlife Club member, served as church treasurer, and for many years, acted as drawmaster for the fastball and slo-pitch tournaments for the Sturgis Sports and Rodeo.
Neil met his soon to be wife Elaine (Risdale) in the fall of 1970 and they were married on May 14th, 1971 at Grace United Church in Sturgis. Together they would have three children, Joel (1975), Ingrid (1977) and Lindsay (1985). Neil and Elaine lived in Preeceville until 1978, when they moved into their new house in Sturgis.
Following high school, Neil began a career at the Gateway Co-op in Preeceville, moving to the Co-op store in Sturgis in 1971. There he became Branch Manager in 1980 and continued to work there until his retirement in 1997. Following his retirement from the Co-op, he found many jobs that interested him and kept him busy. This included working at Matt’s Outdoor Supplies, helping his outfitter friends with some guiding, custom combining, farm hand, hail insurance adjustor, then back to the Preeceville Co-op lumber yard, followed by a longer stint at the Big Sky Kopje hog barns, before retiring for good to enjoy his hobbies and family.
Family was extremely important to Neil, and he spent a lot of his time with each of his children instilling a love of hunting, fishing, and nature, and teaching all three how to cook. His latest loves were his four grandchildren who kept “Papa” busy playing catch, going for quad rides, shooting gophers, and reading stories.
Although Neil wasn’t a big fan of leaving Sturgis for too long, he did enjoy his trips to Chicago and New York to watch baseball and have a hot dog and beer at the ballpark. Neil and Elaine also had a trip to Mexico with family, and even went as far afield as Sweden with Elaine to visit extended family and discover his family roots.
Neil is predeceased by his parents Alvar and Nellie, mother and father-in-law Evelyn and Gerald, sister Gail, brother-in-law Rob, brothers-in-law Jim and Ed, and sister-in-law Janet. Left to mourn his passing are his wife Elaine, son Joel (Kelley), daughter Ingrid (Kris), daughter Lindsay (Amy), sisters Muriel and Lynn, and brother Murray. Neil’s grandchildren Hayden and Smith Christopherson and Hudson and Kolton Dueck, aunts Pearl and Anne, as well as numerous nieces, nephews, and cousins will all also miss him greatly.
A funeral service for Neil was held on Thursday, October 21st at 2:00pm from Grace United Church with Rev. Miles Russell officiating.
The Interment followed in the Sturgis Community Cemetery.
Memorial donations may be made to the Grace United Church Memorial Fund as gifts of remembrance.
Arrangements have been entrusted to Preeceville Funeral Home.
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