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Thank you for your support during this difficult time. Please enhance this tribute to Vi by adding your memories and photos.

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Kotrba-Smith Funeral Home

Kotrba-Smith Funeral Home
101 Gerkin
Gregory, SD 57533
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Memories & Candles

“Lyle and family, my deepest condolences on the loss of Vi. I will always remember her sweet smile, tender heart and kind words. She and my mom, Bea...Read More »
1 of 8 | Posted by: Marsha Brumbaugh - MN

“Brad and Family; The class of 1974 sends our deepest sympathy in the loss of your mother. Our prayers are with you and your family. ”
2 of 8 | Posted by: 1974 classmates - gregory, SD

“Rod and family, Your classmates extend our deepest sympathy to you. May your memories comfort you. Class of 73 ”
3 of 8 | Posted by: GHS Class of 1973 Gregory - SD

“So sorry to hear of aunt Vi's passing. We haven't seen the family for several years as we are constantly on the move ”
4 of 8 | Posted by: Ron Horton - Durham, NC - Family

“Vi opened her door and heart to a lot of kids, to include me. She made us feel as if we were all her own grandchildren. Vi's warm smile and huge...Read More »
5 of 8 | Posted by: Heather (Pavlis) Dawson - CO

“Many memories of Vi and Lyle. They babysat Stephanie when she was little. There was a time they kept her for 3 days when we went on a work trip to...Read More »
6 of 8 | Posted by: Cindi Pavlis - Hadley, MN

“Lyle and boys I'm so sorry to hear of your great loss I have many memories of doing Vi's hair over the years she was a wonderful woman that I was...Read More »
7 of 8 | Posted by: Donna Harrison - Sioux Falls, SD

“I will always remember the relationship of my Dad and Aunt Vi. People often thought they were enemies, but they loved each other dearly. One of...Read More »
8 of 8 | Posted by: Ron and Sally Lampe - Cortez, CO


Viola (Pastian) Christensen was born November 7, 1934 in Dallas, SD, the twelfth of thirteen children born to Henry and Mollie (Faatz) Pastian. Vi grew up on a farm southwest of Paxton, SD. Vi graduated from Gregory High School in 1952. While attending high school, she lived with Bill and Evelyn Rasmussen and worked at the Tasty Shop.

On July 29, 1952, she married Lyle Christensen at the Congregational Church in Gregory. Lyle was a sergeant in the US Marine Corps. The couple resided in Santa Anna, CA where Lyle was stationed at Marine Corps Air Station El Toro until his discharge in October of 1953.

The couple returned to Gregory where Vi was a homemaker and loved cooking, baking, and decorating cakes. She was an active volunteer in scouting, church, and Rebekah Lodge activities. Vi worked with Lyle in the family business, Christensen Sales and Service, from its founding in 1965 until her death. Vi took care of many children over three generations and all are still considered as part of the family.

Vi passed away on Thursday, June 1, 2017, at the Gregory Memorial Hospital in Gregory at the age of 82.

She is survived by her husband Lyle, children Steve (Karen), Platte, SD, Rod (Louise), Edina, MN, Brad, Gregory, SD, and Todd, Gregory, SD; four grandchildren: Eric (Lisa) Christensen, Stephanie (Bill) Entringer, Brian (Lauren) Christensen, and Katie (Casey) Haensel; four great grandchildren: Hailey Larson, McKenna and Collin Entringer, and Harper Christensen.

She was preceded in death by her parents; her granddaughter, LaDawn Christensen; six brothers: Harry, Ruben, Robert, Raymond, Floyd, and Ivan; and six sisters: Blanche Horton, Vera Mansheim, Agnes Thomas, Elizabeth Pastian, Florence Werner, and Irene Pastian.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Funeral services for Vi Christensen, 82, of Gregory, SD, were held, Tuesday, June 6, 2017, at 10:30 a.m. at Union Congregational Church with Pastor Tim Voigt officiating. A visitation and prayer service was held at the church Monday evening.

Music was provided by DeNalda Fortuna and Jeanie Kotrba, pianists. Congregational hymns were "The Old Rugged Cross" and "Amazing Grace." Geoff Smith, soloist, sang "On the Wings of a Snow White Dove" and "On Eagles Wings."

Leann Schrader and Peg Roggow were in charge of registration.

Flower attendants were Nichole Swan, Ashley Swan, Abigail Swan, and Amber Swan.

Casket Bearers were Mike Schrader, Lee Schrader, Bennett Haines, Daren Roggow, Eric Christensen, and Brian Christensen.

Honorary Casket Bearers were all of Vi's "grandchildren."

Interment was in the I.O.O.F. Cemetery, Gregory, SD.