Obituary: Lise (Christensen) Olsen, age 83

Lise (Christensen) Olsen, age 83, died peacefully in her sleep, in her home on December 29th. Excellent home care provided by her son Christian, Connecticut Hospice and the support of her other children made this request possible. In accordance to Lise’s wishes, there will be no services and her ashes will be scattered upon the ocean.

Survivors include her children Charlotte (Kevin) Kearney Christian Olsen, Lisbeth (Eric) Condo and Karsten Olsen, her granddaughters Kristen, Julia and Olivia all of Connecticut as well as her brother Leif (Bodil) Christensen, sisters-in-law Solveig “Blondie” Christensen of Denmark, Bodil Drescher Olsen of NY and Kirsten “Kitty” Olsen of CT, many nieces and nephews and numerous grandnephews and grandnieces.

Lise was predeceased by her parents Lauritz and Louise (Bischoff) Christensen, brother Lorentz Christensen, sister Lillian Gebbel, son-in-law Joseph “Joe” Sullivan and nephews Peter Gebbel and William “Billy” Olsen.

Lise stated that of all her accomplishments, she was most proud of raising her children to be good people who stood up for what they believed in.

As a young woman, Lise left her life in Denmark embarking on a journey of a lifetime. She spent time in England as a nanny, practiced her English and met her dear friend Kirsten Hockaday, who still resides in England. After becoming a registered nurse in 1957, she eagerly became part of a Danish Nurse exchange program and worked in the emergency room of Cook County Hospital in Chicago, IL. While here in the US she was able to connect with her childhood friend Bodil Drescher who had married, moved to Larchmont, NY and had an eligible brother-in-law, who proved irresistible! They married and started a family, and in 1965 purchased a house in the “country.” Directions to their new home included following the dirt road and taking a left after the cows! In this Shelton home, Lise spent the next 50 years of her life and raised her family.

Lise is best known for her thick Danish accent and direct personality. She was employed as a Registered Nurse and Director of In-Service Training, and Infection Control Nurse at Gardner Heights (formerly Long Hill Convalescent Home) in Shelton from 1973 – 1989. During this time she developed and implemented alternative charting which streamlined charting for all the nursing staff and brought forth the teachings of Elisabeth Kübler-Ross on Death and Dying to all the staff. Lise also worked as a Floor Nurse at Griffin Hospital from 1989 until her retirement in 2000 and acted as Nurse Consultant at Cornerstone Children Center in Trumbull (Lisbeth’s center) for many years

Lise was most proud of starting what is known today as the Shelton Land Conservation Trust. Her interest in conserving the land for future generations started in 1968. She decided something needed to be done in Shelton while there was still land to be preserved. Lise knew she would need help getting this endeavor going and met with then Senator “Doc” Gunther, who also professed a great interest in conservation. At her request in early 1969, “Doc” spoke at a League of Women’s Voters meeting and again at a Long Hill School PTA meeting, both times stressing the importance of conservation and so it began and the Shelton Conservation Commission was created shortly thereafter. The momentum created by Lise and “Doc” Gunther, led to the formation of the Shelton Land Conservation Trust. Lise was proud to be an active member of this forward thinking group of people until just a few years ago when health issues severely curtailed her ability to participate.

Memorial donations can be made in her memory to the Shelton Land Conversation Trust (PO Box 2276 Huntington Station, Shelton CT 06484). If you live in Shelton, please consider joining the Land Trust to honor her memory and make a difference in your community.

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