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November 17, 1944 - November 21, 2019
Service Date November 25, 2019
Church Behrens-Wilson Funeral Home
Visitation for Joseph Samuel “Chris” Christian will be from 3 to 5 pm, Sunday, November 24, 2019 at Behrens-Wilson Funeral Home. Funeral services will be at 10:00 AM Monday, November 25, 2019 at Behrens-Wilson Funeral Home followed by interment with Full Military Honors at Black Hills National Cemetery.
Joseph “Chris” Christian, 75, passed away at the Rapid City Regional Hospice House after suffering the last 11 years with Alzheimer’s disease.
Chris was born November 17, 1944 to Leto and Ruby Christian in Jackson, Michigan, later growing up in Charlestown, Indiana. At the age of 18, Chris joined the United States Air Force with his first duty assignment being Ellsworth Air Force Base. In December of 1965, Chris met the love of his life, Romelia Luedtke, for which they married July 23rd, 1966.
Chris’ duty assignments included Ellsworth Air Force Base, Vandenburg Air Force Base, Malmstrom Air Force Base and ultimately returning to Ellsworth Air Force Base to retire.
Upon retiring from the United States Air Force, Chris worked at Black Hills Wilbur Vault Company for 23 years and enjoyed going to work every day. Chris took pride in his work and loved and respected the people he worked with.
Chris was active in the American Legion Post 22 serving as Commander in 1985 and forming and serving as commander of the Post 22 Honor Guard from its inception for 15 years.
Chris was known for his strong work ethic, honesty, outgoing personality, and infectious laugh. Chris was proud of his service in the United States Air Force and continued his patriotic values into his civilian life by displaying a flag in his front yard every day and teaching others what it meant to be a patriot. Chris enjoyed fishing, hunting, roller-skating, dancing, and coaching girls’ softball.
Chris is survived by his wife of 53 years, Romelia Christian; daughters Connie (Dan) Ostendorf of Henderson, Nevada, and Carisa (Rob) Gerving of Black Hawk, South Dakota; Grandchildren Christopher and Matthew Ostendorf, Dariyn and Ethen Englund; Imogen, Paden, and Serenity Gerving; son-in-law Justin Englund; brother-in-law Jose Luedtke and two great-grandchildren.
Chris was preceded in death by his parents, Leto and Ruby Christian; brothers Earl and Kenny Christian; sister Brenda; daughter Christa Englund; and mother-in-law and father-in-law, Consuelo and Edmund Luedtke.