C. (Clem) Christianson
Clem was born in Lethbridge, Alberta in 1927 while his family was living in Raymond.
The family soon moved to Edmonton for three years, and then to Lethbridge, where Clem attended school. In 1942, the Christianson family moved to Grande Prairie for two years and then to Calgary where Clem completed his last year of high school.
Obviously Clem had a good look at Alberta even though he had not yet started his surveying career. His father was a valued, long-time employee of United Grain Growers, hence, the many moves around Alberta.
After a summer working on highway surveys in Banff and Kootenay National parks, Clem chose surveying as a career and attended SAIT for two years, graduating in 1948. He was employed by Imperial Oil for the next thirteen years, spending most of his time in the Peace River Country, with some short periods in Manitoba and Saskatchewan.
In 1954, Clem married Cathy whom he met at Central United Church at a Young Peoples meeting. They lived in Regina until 1960, and during those years increased their family by three sons - Cam, Bill, and Tom. As most of us know, Cam grew up to be an ALS, with his own business in Brooks, Alberta.
In 1960, Clem left Imperial Oil, moved to Dawson Creek, BC and set up an aerial photography business. In 1963 he moved his business to Calgary and continued operating until 1969, when he joined the firm of Clark Swanby & Associates, articling to Tom Swanby in 1969. He obtained his ALS commission in 1972 (#364) and shortly thereafter, opened his own business, Christianson Surveys Ltd. He enjoyed operating this business until retiring.
Clem's retirement was spent golfing, camping, and travelling with Cathy in their van across Canada and the USA. He was a dedicated family man who was very proud of his three sons, celebrating their achievements and helping with their problems.
In October 1979, Cathy experienced kidney failure and began home dialysis, with Clem's help for the next three years. All this was done cheerfully, three times a week, without a word of complaint. This cheerful, positive attitude, and his quick sense of humour will always be remembered by his family and friends. Throughout his life, his loyalty to his friends produced many lasting friendships that remain to this day.
In June 1994, Clem was diagnosed with multiple myeloma - a blood cancer. This came as a shock to family and friends, as well as to himself as he had always enjoyed almost perfect health. As a project to keep their minds off the "cancer" he and Cathy spent many happy hours planning and building a new home at Lake Newell, just outside of Brooks. However, a couple of months ago, cancer was detected in the pancreas, and this time could not be beaten.
Clem passed away on July 6, 1996 at the age of sixty-nine years.
Clem was a credit to the land surveying community.
Submitted by Cathy Christianson and Tom Swanby, ALS.