Hugh Herlov Christiansen passed away at the age of 81 in Calgary, AB on Sunday, March 27, 2022, to join his son James. He leaves behind his wife, Rose, of 58 years; his children Christine Giberson (Randy), Kimberly Cardinal (Sean), Darryl Christiansen; grandchildren Grant Cornell (Tiffany), Josh Cornell, Shayne Christiansen (Amy), Darren Christiansen, Alexander Giberson, Chase Cardinal (Morgan), Paige Cardinal, Katherine Giberson, and Zachary Giberson; great-granddaughter Autumn Cornell; sister Eleanor Christiansen, numerous nieces and nephews. Predeceased by his son James Christiansen; his sisters and brother-in-laws Shirley and Larry Gobeil, Joyce and Brian Wold; parents Dorothy (Doris) and Christian (Louie) Christiansen; and in-laws Katryna (Katie) and Michael (Mike) Yendrys.
Hugh was born on November 6, 1940, in Selkirk, Manitoba to Doris and Louie Christiansen. He was the first of four children. The family moved to Winnipeg, Manitoba in the late 40’s early 50’s and grew up in Fort Rouge. Spending a lot of time with family and friends at his family cabin in Clandeboye and the island in Elma. He was always an entrepreneur as his first business was selling pop to construction workers and then collecting the bottles while he was in school. He was not one to be told what to do especially in school and after three attempts at grade eight, he decided to go out and discover the world on his own terms. He began working with his Dad, who was a heavy-duty mechanic, at Carters Construction. He continued working in the construction industry for years.
He met the love of his life Rose in 1963 and they were married on February 23, 1964, having four children. They lived in Winnipeg making many great friendships that lasted through the years. He loved spending time with family and friends. Birthdays were big events as were big parties with our extended family and many friends, and every holiday was spent with family with amazing food. Parties were very common at their house. BBQing was one of his specialties and playing cards was a favourite pastime creating many great memories. They bowled on Sunday evenings for many years and friends would meet afterward at their house for cards. He was a member of the Fraternal Order of Eagles where he discovered curling. Being able to find a good deal, he was asked to find the gifts for the Eagle's events. We always looked forward to the Eagles picnics, Grey Cup and Stanley Cup parties but the best was always the Christmas Party.
As someone who was always wanting to try something new and an entrepreneur at heart, he was a jack of all trades. Starting a new business was his specialty. He had his own landscaping company for many years. His big downfall was his big heart, if people could not pay he did not go after them, but he always made sure his staff was paid. He tried his hand at sales, selling parts with Landau Mercury Lincoln. One of his dreams was to have a store and he opened a gift shop on Osbourne Avenue which he loved. He went on to work in the sandblasting/ pressure washing industry.
Falling on tough times they made the tough decision to move west. He made it to Calgary, AB in 1982 where his sister Eleanor and her family were living, and ended up making Calgary their home. He over the years dabbled in many different businesses. In Calgary, he once again went into landscaping, then went back to working in sandblasting/pressure washing industry which took him and his son Darryl up north working on ships in the Beaufort Sea. As he always like to be his own boss he tried his hand at the used parts business, sold refurbished batteries that he did out of his garage, he even had a store where he sold hockey cards and a few gifts. He was not someone to just sit and do nothing as he retired he still kept working by having daily yard sales until the City made him close down. He then went back to his first job collecting bottles.
He was a very loving and caring person. When someone was in need, he could always be counted on to help out and always made people feel like family. Due to his honesty, reliability, caring nature, and trustworthiness the friendships he made lasted his lifetime. He loved his family deeply. It was important for the love of his life to always have flowers for their anniversary and chocolates on Valentine’s Day which she would share with us kids. Being gone from home for work made being home more important. He spent a lot of time with his kids he even made a skating rink in their backyard so they could learn to skate, helped to build a treehouse in a field that was not easily demolished, and spent many hours with them. Being big on tradition, he like his father, made sure his grandchildren always left with a loonie or toonie in their pocket after a visit. Christmas was a very very big event in the Christiansen’s household. The tree was always meticulously decorated. The tinsel had to be nicely placed strand by strand on your hand and then carefully placed on the tree branch which is how he cared for his family.
He lived a long happy vivacious life, going on many vacations with family on numerous cruises where he could always be found in the casino and having a little midnight snack of steak, on his Disney Vacations he loved It’s A Small World, Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin and One Man’s Dream, and his last holiday which was to Hawaii, every morning he would sit on his balcony and have his coffee watching the sunrise.
On his last day with us, he was surrounded by his family and friends listening to the sounds he loved so much laughter and chitter-chatter. He felt nothing but love and happiness. Best of all he had a beer and was able to see his beloved Calgary Flames destroy the Edmonton Oilers.
He can now be with this beloved son James who can be his guide as they enjoy their time together doing what they both loved going to the casino, having a midnight snack, and watching late night tv into the wee hours together.
He will be greatly missed.
A Memorial Service will be held at Evan J Strong Funeral Services (5502 2 St. SW) on Friday, May 13 at 2:00 pm. Following the service, a wake will be held at Kim and Sean Cardinals' home. Those unable to attend the service are welcome to come and share memories of Hugh.
To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Hugh Herlov Christiansen, please visit our floral store.