Jeff Christianson with his Oriental at East Delta Park. Barbara White photo.

Geoffrey L. Christianson

Sept. 13, 1941-April 20, 2013

By Barbara White

Several friends met at East Delta Park in Portland, Ore., on April 22, pulled out their chairs and set out their airplanes; they then passed around small paper cups.  A bottle of champagne was opened and the cork flew 40 feet into the air.  “Jeff would have liked that,” one of them said.  All agreed and toasted their departed friend.  They put up flights in Jeff’s honor, shared stories, and took their shared sadness forward.

Geoffrey "Jeff" Christianson of Portland died on April 20, 2013.

Jeff Christianson made his final circle of friends in his last decade, back at the flying circles at Delta Park.  Born in Portland, Jeff started flying control-line planes when he was about 12 or 13, at Parkrose Junior High School; his first airplane was a Fireball Ohlsson and Rice .23.  He and his brother used to fly at Delta Park all day when they were kids, primarily on a grass circle.  They built Ringmasters, Mustangs, Yak 9s.  He told a story of using the heater in the upstairs bathroom to dry things; something exploded and caught on fire (he said his folks got "a little upset”).

Jeff’s first job, in seventh grade, was at a hobby, cycle and lawnmower shop in Portland where he worked the model counter and sold model planes.  After he went into the Marine Corps on his 17th birthday, he flew control-line planes at Camp Pendleton.

After Jeff’s four years in the Marines, serving in Japan and the Philippine Islands, he returned to work at Rose City Auto Wrecking, from where he retired in 2007.  It was while working at Rose City that Jeff stopped by Delta Park during a break, sometime in 2003 or 2004, and saw members of the Northwest Fireballs flying control-line planes.  Jeff started flying periodically, joining the club in 2007 and flying three times a week or so since his retirement.

In addition to flying, Jeff also was active in the Northwest Fireballs, attending meetings (along with his beloved wife, Andi), working on Delta Park projects and club-sponsored flying and social events, and helping other members regain (or learn) flying skills

The circle of friends Jeff helped to nurture at Delta Park is a little bit smaller today.

Jean Ely Mangrum photo.

Jeff's funeral will be held at 2:00 p.m. on Thursday, May 2, 2013, at Skyline Memorial Gardens Funeral Home.  Their address is 4101 NW Skyline Blvd, Portland. Further information on the facility (including a map and driving directions) can be found at the funeral home website.

In addition, there is a link on that Web page to the guest book in Jeff's memory.  Please take a minute to check this out, perhaps leaving a note that Andi and the rest of Jeff's family will have for the future.

Jeff Christianson is in the center (red sleeves) of friends at Oregon Flying Fun No. 1 on Jan. 1, 2013. Barbara White photo.

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This page was upated April 30, 2013