Gretchen Marie Christjaener was born Aug. 20, 1918, in Lincoln, to John and Johanna (Lueck) Schulze and passed away on April 29, 2021, at the age of 102 years, 8 months and 9 days. Gretchen grew up in the Malcolm area where she attended country school in rural Malcolm. She graduated from Malcolm High School with the Class of 1936.
Gretchen attended and graduated from Lincoln School of Commerce. She moved with her parents to Tampa, Florida, for four years before moving back to the Malcolm area. She was employed by Hardy Furniture Company and later Farmers Mutual in the accounting department. On Aug. 15, 1948, Gretchen was united in marriage to Ervin F. Christjaener at St. Paul Lutheran Church. To this union, two children were born, Carol and Denis. She was a beloved mother, grandmother and great-grandmother.
Gretchen enjoyed embroidery, counted cross stitch, gardening, canning and she loved working with her flowers. She was an excellent cook and baker. Making candy and cinnamon rolls for gifts at Christmas was her specialty. Gretchen was a lifelong member of St. Paul Lutheran Church. She was a charter member of the Ladies Aid and LWML, where she served various positions throughout the years. She was an active member of AAL (Thrivent), HEO Extension Club and the Seward Memorial Auxiliary. Gretchen enjoyed playing cards at the senior citizen’s socials at the church. She loved following Husker football and volleyball.
She was preceded in death by her parents; husband, Ervin; extended family, Dr. Maynard and Norma Campbell.
Survivors cherishing her memory include her children, Carol Gruber and husband, Gale, Waco, Denis Christjaener, Pleasant Dale; two grandchildren, Steven Gruber and wife, Kristi, Martell, Natalie Demuth and husband, Collin, York; great-grandchildren, Ashley, Addison and Ayla Gruber and Ashtyn and Leighton Demuth; nieces, nephews, cousins and a host of friends.
A funeral service was May 3 at St. John Lutheran Church in Seward with interment at St, Paul's Lutheran Church Cemetery in Malcolm. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions are suggested to the Christjaener family for future designations. Condolences may be left for the family at /www.zabkafuneralhome.com.