Ardis Georgianne Fiskerbeck Christen was born in Superior, Wis., on Feb. 19, 1938, to K. Victor A. Fiskerbeck ‘28 and Violet Gulsvig Fiskerbeck. She died in Rochester at Saint Mary’s Hospital on Sept. 15, 2017, following heart surgery on Aug. 29, 2017.
Ardis lived in Solon Springs, Wis., until the age of four when she moved with her parents and sister, Elizabeth, to rural Ossian, Iowa, where her father was a pastor at Stavanger, Ossian, and Eldorado Lutheran churches. She graduated from Ossian High School in 1956. A highlight for her that year was to be named to the Des Moines Register Girls' State Basketball Honor Roll. She continued her education at Luther College, where she met Dean Christen ‘57, her husband of 53 years, graduating with a B.A. in English and speech education in 1959. She received a master of science degree from Mankato State University in library technology and taught in the Elkton, Rochester, and Stewartville public schools.
Dean and Ardis were married on Aug. 16, 1959, and had two daughters, Lisa and Kari. She enjoyed spending her summers on Long Lake in Park Rapids, where she loved watching the loons. She always kept an eye on the loon chicks in an effort to protect them from bald eagles. Ardy enjoyed traveling with her family, including post-retirement trips to Ephasus, Israel, and the Panama Canal. She had an insatiable love of learning and thirst for knowledge and research, which she delighted in sharing with everyone. Ardis felt most complete when she was caring for someone else. She was the primary caregiver for her mother and her husband in their last years. She cared about everyone she met and loved to help others. She always put others first. Family and friends were an important part of her life.
Ardis is survived by her children, Lisa Christen, of Plymouth, Minn., and Kari (Christen) Richards ‘89 (Dave); grandson, Ian Richards; sister, Elizabeth Fiskerbeck Bruening ‘58 of Kensington, Md.; brother-in-law, Elliott Christen ’55 (Bev), of Decorah, Iowa; nephew, Kyle (Laura) Christen, of Cedar Rapids, Iowa; niece, Jana (Christen) Albers ’85 (Kevin), of Decorah, Iowa; and great-nephew, Carson Christen, of Germany.
She was preceded in death by her husband, Dean Christen ‘57; her parents, Victor and Violet Fiskerbeck; brother-in-law, Robert Bruening; and brother-in-law, Jan Christen.
Visitation was Sept. 21, 2017, at Ranfranz & Vine Funeral Home, 5421 Royal Place NW, Rochester, MN. Memorial service was Sept. 22, at Our Savior's Lutheran Church, 2124 Viola Road, Rochester, MN.