Lena Smith Packer Christiansen


Lena Smith Packer Christiansen was born April 4, 1918 in the farming community of Riverdale, Idaho, to Louis and Clotilda Packer. She passed from this life peacefully on Sunday, January 18, 2015, in Downey Idaho, at the age of 96. Lena loved being outdoors, whether it was to work in her flower gardens, collect rocks, picnic with her family, play ball, or hike into the rugged mountain areas of Idaho with John. She was Young Women’s Camp Director for many years and taught many Downey girls the art of camping. She grew up with softball and baseball, spending Saturday evenings playing ball with her whole family. She especially liked to catch, and after she married she played catcher on a Downey women’s team that won games all around the area. She was Young Women’s Sports Directors for many years. She was also known for her umpiring of girls softball and boys little league games. She started cooking around the age of 12, baking bread for her family of 14. She was known for her delicious homemade bread, her pies, chili and barbecue. One of the family’s favorite was fried chicken dinner on Sundays. She cooked many meals for the farm crews over the years and was known by her nephews who spent summers helping on the farm for her lunches of homemade bread and watercress sandwiches and jam she would bring out to them on the farm. She made and tied many quilts. She always said she didn’t remember “learning” to quilt—she just grew up doing it with her mother and 8 sisters. Scraps were used for many quilts and old pants were turned into camping and picnicking quilts. Later in her life she enjoyed doing fur quilts with her daughter Teri. She grew up in a rock collecting family and John’s degrees in agronomy (soils) and geology made it even more enjoyable together. She and John collected them wherever they went, especially the Cherry Creek farm. She used them for her rock gardens and flower gardens. She loved growing flowers and gardening. She served many years in Mutual (Young Women’s) in various positions, including president, as well as teaching the teenage Sunday School with John keeping order in the class. She worked as an aide at the Downey hospital for many years. In 1977, at age 59, she trained to be an EMT and served on the Downey ambulance for the next 16 years. Lena was an accomplished artist. She had much natural talent and after leaving it behind to marry and raise a family, picked it back up after her family was mostly raised, taking a few classes around the Marsh Valley area to improve on what God had already given her. She felt her biggest accomplishment was her large family of 4 boys and 4 girls. She is survived by those children, Modell, Arimo, Idaho; Sharlene, Preston, Idaho; Eric, Downey, Idaho; Rosemary, Jensen, Utah; Teri, Bountiful, Utah; Kim, Vernal, Utah; Wade, Boise, Idaho; Amber, Laketown, Utah; one sister, Fern, Burley, Idaho; and numerous grandchildren and great-grandchildren. She was preceded in death by her husband, John Christiansen, grandsons, Jason Jones and Justin Christiansen, her parents, and 10 brothers and sisters. Funeral Services will be held on Saturday, January 24th at 11:00 a.m. in the Downey LDS 1st Ward Chapel. Friends may visit with the family on Saturday from 9:30-10:45 a.m. prior to the services.

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