Darwin Christopher
Darwin Christopher
Darwin Christopher, 93, of Decorah, Iowa, died Sunday, Dec. 30, 2012, at Wellington Place Nursing Home in Decorah, Iowa.

Darwin Joseph Christopher was born on Sept. 18, 1919, the son of Karl and Veta (Davis) Christopher, the oldest of six children in Scranton, N.D. Darwin attended Bluffton School No. 3 and high school in Burr Oak. Darwin worked for Winneshiek County before entering the service. He served as sergeant in the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in the Philippines from 1944-46.

On Feb. 12, 1941, he married Shirley Donlan at St. Benedict Catholic Church in Decorah, and to this union, six children were born: D. Edward, Sharon, Sandra, Tonya, Jacki and Michael. He again worked for the county until 1952. Darwin and Shirley lived in several Wisconsin and Illinois towns as he worked construction with Ryan and Schultz, along with his uncle and wife, Tom and Helen Davis. In 1956, they returned to Bluffton and started Christopher Construction, now a third-generation company. He built many ponds and terraces in the local area, working with his two sons, Ed and Michael. Darwin received the Roy Schultz Soil Conservation Award. He retired in 1988 and continued to help the boys out when needed.

Darwin enjoyed going to the Mississippi River to water ski, fish and canoe; and also enjoyed gardening, reading, flying the Cessna 150 and 172 (giving rides to all), mowing the lawns and runway, woodworking, hunting, golfing in Harmony (he had a hole in one when he was around 80 years old), playing cards with friends, going to auctions, races, sporting events and visiting with people. Above all, Darwin enjoyed giving candy to his grandchildren. He went on an Honor Flight to Washington, D.C., on his 91st birthday. Darwin was a member of St. Bridget's Catholic Church in Bluffton, Iowa, and the Joseph B. Lund American Legion Post #299 in Mabel, Minn.

Darwin is survived by his wife, Shirley Christopher of Bluffton, Iowa; six children, D. Edward (Sharon) Christopher, of Bluffton, Sharon Tweten - Henry of Bluffton, Sandy Christopher of Mabel, Tonya (Alan) Jolin of Phillips, Wis., Jacki (Earl Lovelace) Christopher of Wabasha, Minn., and Michael (DeAnn) Christopher of Bluffton/Burr Oak; 16 grandchildren; 16 great-grandchildren and four great-great-grandchildren; brothers and sisters, Fred (Rosetta) Christopher of Powderville, Mont., Rosemary Christopher of Cresco, Iowa, Karl Jr. (Diane) Christopher of Hesper, Iowa, and Faye (Walt) Marlow of Bluffton; and one sister-in-law, Victoria Christopher of Decorah.

Darwin was preceded in death by his parents, Karl and Veta (Davis) Christopher; four brothers, Lawrence, Francis, Harold and Carsten Christopher; one sister in infancy; and one granddaughter, Brenda Christopher.

Mass of Christian Burial was held Jan. 3 at St. Bridget's Catholic Church in Bluffton with burial in the church cemetery.

The Schluter - Balik Funeral Home in Decorah, Iowa, was in charge of arrangements.