Douglas Neldon Christensen died on Feb. 28, 2011 in Blanding, Utah, of natural causes incident to age. He was born on Jan. 28, 1921 to Neldon Snow and Marjorie Goodman Christensen in Moab, Utah.
At age 9, Douglas’ mother died and he and his younger sister Marjorie were separated, each being cared for by extended family. He lived with the family of his Aunt Nonie (Abalona) Maxwell and Uncle Jesse L. Maxwell.
His sister Marjorie states, “After my mother died, Doug was always my hero.”
Douglas graduated from Moab’s Grand County High School in 1939, and attended the Missouri School of Mines and Metallurgy in Rolla, Mo. between 1939 and 1943, initially residing at the Pi Kappa Alpha Fraternity house, being a member of that fraternity, and later to be elected as its president. In January 1943 he received a Bachelor of Science degree in chemical engineering from the School of Mines.
Having been in advanced ROTC in Missouri, Douglas immediately entered Officers Candidate School at Fort Belvoir, Va., and upon graduation was commissioned a second lieutenant in the United States Army. He was on active duty with the Army for a period of four years, two of which were spent in the Asiatic Pacific campaign, including participation in the Battle for the Palau Islands and for the Philippines, and ultimately as a member of the occupation forces in Japan.
In 1946, following the conclusion of his service in the Second World War, he received an honorable discharge with the rank of captain. He married Caroline Lyman on June 28, 1947 in Blanding, Utah, after which the couple moved to Maryland, where Douglas attended the University of Maryland, earning a master’s degree and being awarded a Ph.D. in inorganic chemistry in 1953.
He was an employee of the E.I. DuPont Corporation from 1953 until 1973, and the director of research and development for the Canyonlands 21st Century Corporation in Blanding, Utah until his retirement.
He was a member of Tau Beta Pi, Alpha Chi Sigma, Sigma Xi, as well as the national service fraternity Blue Key, the BPOE (Elks), the American Chemical Society, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the Chamber of Commerce and the County Taxpayers’ Association.
Douglas is survived by his wife, Caroline; three sons and two daughters, Michael D. (Sidney) of Blanding, Utah, Kirk L. (Sue) of Rolla, Mo., Scot L. (Julene) of Blanding, Utah, Marjorie C. Jones of Aztec, N.M., and Suzanne Christensen of Sacramento, Calif. He has 13 grandchildren and 20 great-grandchildren. He is also survived by his sister, Marjorie C. Peacock of Reno, Nev.
Funeral services were held in Blanding, Utah on March 3.