Saturday, March 23, 2024

 Gary Leon Christoson

2/25/1940 -3/16/2024

Gary Christoson, age 84, stepped from earth into heaven on March 16, 2024, surrounded by the family he cherished.

Gary Leon Christoson was born in the Pontiac, Michigan home of his parents, Clifton and Pearle Christoson, along with his twin brother Jerry Lee, on February 25, 1940. After graduating from Waterford Township High School in 1958, Gary enlisted in the U.S. Army, serving in the 101st Airborne Division, Fort Campbell, Kentucky from 1959-1961.

Later, as a student at Campbellsville College in Kentucky, Gary heard the gospel and received Jesus Christ as his personal Savior. There he also met the love of his life, Lillian Carol Smith, whom he married on September 21, 1963.

Gary worked in quality engineering at Ford Motor Company for 32 years, while raising his three children in West Bloomfield. He was the model family man who worked hard, provided well, and created decades of memories with his children and grandchildren. He enjoyed golfing, hunting, and fishing, always with family or friends. He also enjoyed horseback riding, specifically on their centennial farm near Tecumseh. Gary was a proficient do-it-yourselfer – whether it was house projects, car repairs, or the impressive restoration of his classic ’46 Ford pick-up. Gary was quick to make a joke, but quicker to offer a word of encouragement or wisdom.

In 2003, Gary and Lillian relocated to Livingston County to live near their son’s family and invest in the lives of their grandchildren. They became snowbirds in southern Arizona for 13 winters, enjoying the sunshine with friends between visits to their daughter’s family in New Mexico and their son’s family in California. It’s no surprise that Gary’s favorite Bible verse was 3John 4, “I have no greater joy than to hear that my children walk in truth.”

Gary put his faith in Jesus Christ over 60 years ago; and every year since, his relationship with his Savior deepened in devotion, knowledge, and authenticity. For the past 20 years, Gary was a member of Bible Baptist Church in Howell where he served as an usher, greeter, and more.

Gary inspired many during his decade-long fight against Multiple Myeloma, through his courage and steadfast faith. His faith in the redemptive work of Jesus leaves us with no doubt that Gary has now experienced the reality of 2Corinthians 5:8, “We are confident, I say, and willing rather to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord.”

Gary was preceded in death by his parents Pearle and Clifton Christoson, his brothers Lawrence "Sonny" and Robert "Bobby" and his sister Jean Mellema. He is survived by his wife of 60 years, Lillian, his twin brother Jerry (Jadene), his son Gary (Sandra), daughter Cindy Blake (Ken), son Tim (Nicole), grandchildren Erin Husband (Aaron), Kayla LaVere (Gabe), Sarah Patterson (Justus), Megan Shrader (Brody), Courtney Pace (Garrett), Jessie Blake, Taylor Litzau (Jacob), Trevor, McKinley, Grant, and Monroe Christoson, great-grandchildren Mason, Jackson, and Savanna Husband; Blake, Hallie, Maverick, and Cash LaVere; Madden, Easton, and Kennedy Patterson; Gavin and Emmett Pace; Elliott Shrader and many nieces and nephews.

Gary’s family received friends and family for visitation at Keehn-Griffin Funeral Home in Brighton on Monday, March 18th from 5:00–8:00 p.m. A funeral service was held at Bible Baptist Church in Howell on Tuesday, March 19th at 11:00 a.m., with time for viewing at 10:00 a.m. Gary requested that in lieu of flowers, memorial contributions be made to Bible Baptist Church's building program.

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