Gerald R. Christensen, M.D.

Gerald R. Christensen, M.D.

September 24, 1935 – January 26, 2019

A much loved husband, father, grandfather, son, brother, uncle and cousin, Gerald “Jerry” Roger Christensen, 83, of Omaha, passed away peacefully at his home on January 26, 2019 with his family present. Jerry is survived by his wife, Mary Clare Haven; daughters, Karen Fenton (Stephen) of Scottsdale AZ and Jill Castrina (Frank) of Portland, OR; stepchildren, Guy Haven, Jr. (Laurie) and Shelley Brown (Jeff) of Omaha; grandchildren: Megan, Marissa and Andrew Fenton, Mia and Lukas Castrina, Zach and Guy Haven III, and Doug and Evelyn Brown; siblings, Robert Christensen (Michele) of Manhattan Beach, CA and Joyce Harris (James) of Stanford, CA.  He was preceded in death by his parents, Bert and Emelyn Christensen, and by his stepson, Douglas Haven.

Jerry was born in Corvallis, OR on September 24, 1935. He graduated from Corvallis High School and went on to attend Oregon State University, graduating in 1957.  Jerry received his medical degree from the University of Oregon Medical School and completed his residency in ophthalmology at the University of Minnesota in 1968. His first academic experience was at the University of Texas, Galveston. Jerry spent the bulk of his medical career as a professor at the University of Nebraska Medical Center (UNMC) beginning in 1976. He took a leave of absence from the university in 1990 to return to active naval service with postings in San Diego, Yokosuka Japan, and Bethesda before retiring with the rank of Captain in 1999.  He returned to UNMC, retiring officially on July 18, 2018. However, he remained active with the university as a Professor Emeritus until the very end.

Jerry’s interest in low vision rehabilitation directed his efforts to become a leading force and donor for the Weigel Williamson Center for Visual Rehabilitation on the UNMC campus. Today patients at this Center (and two satellite clinics in Nebraska and one in Iowa) receive the training and tools needed to use their remaining vision.

Jerry loved musical theater and appeared in many local community productions. His other hobbies included snow skiing, hunting, fishing, and traveling extensively throughout the world.

The family will receive friends on Friday, Feb 1st, from 5m to 7pm at the West Center Chapel, followed by VIGIL SERVICE at 7pm.  FUNERAL SERVICE: Saturday, Feb 2nd at 10am at St. Mary Magdalene Catholic Church, 109 S. 19th St.

Memorials should be directed to the University of Nebraska Foundation for the Weigel Williamson Center for Visual Rehabilitation; or the Bert and Emelyn Christensen Professor Endowment in the College of Science at Oregon State University.



  • Nan Bogdan Posted January 27, 2019 9:32 pm

    Dear Mary and family,
    Just heard of Jerry’s passing … I am so very sorry. I am certain that you both did everything you could to keep the cancer at bay. Jerry was such a generous and caring person … always thinking of everyone else and how he could help. It was so typical of him to make sure he made a lasting contribution to OSU in his father’s name. I am sure there were many other similar things he did that nobody even knew about. I just know how much it meant to Mike and I when he helped us through some rough times during the Iceland trip. Please know you are very much in my thoughts … I understand your loss. Best love, Nan Bogdan

  • Jean Iverson Posted January 28, 2019 5:54 pm

    Dearest Mary,

    It is with great sadness I am writing to you. A short time ago I was told Jerry had been fighting colon cancer and that he was doing well. I so hope you two had some good weeks between these two illnesses. You both loved life and gave that love of life to those around you…..Thank You. I feel your heartache. Hugs, Jeanne

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