Barbara H “Butch” Christensen was born at St. Vincent Hospital in Billings on July 27, 1937, where her father, Richard Chapple, was a physician. Butch’s mother, Gladys Price Chapple, was an English and music teacher.
Butch met Gerald Christensen when they were both students at the University of Montana. They were married on Aug. 26, 1957, in Billings, at St. Luke’s Episcopal Church and were blessed with two daughters; Rene’, born in 1958; and Stephanie Bryn, born in 1964.
Butch was an accomplished musician, playing both the piano and the organ at numerous weddings and funerals, as well as being the organist at St. Luke’s. She was known for playing the organ with a “beat,” consistent with her personality. Those fortunate enough to experience Butch’s music left church with a smile, a song in their heart and rhythm in their step.
Butch was a true perfectionist and excelled at any task she undertook, be it as a legal secretary, her role as Chairman of the utility board for Billings, as President of Junior Women’s Club, as a Shrine Lady and most certainly as a wife and mother.
Butch is survived by her husband, Jerry, of 59 years; her daughters, Rene’ (Terry Tritz) and Stephanie Bryn (Cory Lovell); grandchildren Jerry Lovell, a student at the University of Montana in Missoula, and Kaycee Rene’, a student at Peninsula High School in Gig Harbor, Wash. Butch is also survived by her sister, Margaret (Mac) Belknap of Portland, Ore.; and three nephews, Wade Belknap (Sheila), Wendell Belknap (Barb) and Jim Belknap (Michele).
For our family, Butch was birthdays, Christmas and Thanksgiving. Holidays will never be the same without her. She has left a void in the lives of those who loved her which can never be filled — in other words, Butch, we love you now and forever.
Services for Butch will be at 11 a.m. Friday, Nov. 4, at St. Luke’s Episcopal Church, 119 N. 33rd St.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be made to the Al Bedoo Shrine Crippled and Burned Children’s Transportation Fund, 1125 Broadwater Ave., Billings, MT 59102.