Las Vegas Business Pioneer Vern Christensen Dies at 89
Published on Sat, Jan 11, 2014 (7:17 a.m.)
Submitted by Vern Christensen Family
Long time Las Vegas businessman Vern J. Christensen passed away in Las Vegas on January 8 after a short illness. Vern was born on July 16, 1924 in Salt Lake City, Utah to Marcus J. Christensen and Hazel Johnson. He spent his early years in Milford Utah before moving to Las Vegas in 1939 where he graduated from Las Vegas High School in1942. He joined the United States Navy and served honorably in the Philippines during World War II.
In 1947 Vern married Doris Mae Rowe in the LDS Temple in St. George, Utah. They are the parents of 5 children David (Dianna), Julia Smith (Grant), Paul (Leone), Karen Slade, and Joan Baldwin (David). They have 22 grandchildren and 43 great-grandchildren.
Vern’s distinguished career as a Las Vegas businessman included a 30-year involvement in the family business, M. J. Christensen Jewelers. Later he helped pioneer the local recycling industry as a partner in the development of Nevada Pic-a-Part and Silver Dollar Recycling. Vern was an active member of the local Better Business Bureau as well as a founder and board member of the American Bank of Commerce. He also served a term as National President of the Retail Jewelers Association.
Vern was a lifelong member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and served faithfully in many positions in the church, including as a fulltime missionary with his wife in Anaheim, California.
Doris, his wife of 66 years, and daughter Julia Smith, preceded Vern in death. His three brothers, Don Christensen, Former District Court Judge Carl Christensen, and former Clark County Commission Chairman Paul Christensen, survive him.
Visitation will be Friday, January 17 from 5-7 pm at Palm Mortuary 1600 S. Jones and at 9 am Saturday the 18th in the LDS Chapel 3400 W. Charleston with services to follow at 10 am. In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations to the Perpetual Education Fund (pef.lds.org) of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.