An Atlantic native who went on to become an orthodontist and long-time resident of Waterloo, has left a huge gift to the Community Foundation of Northeast Iowa.
Dr. Ross Christensen
Dr. Ross Christensen, a community leader during his lifetime, along with his wife Patricia, extended their community leadership after their deaths through the establishment of the Ross D. Christensen Family Fund with the Community Foundation of Northeast Iowa (CFNEIA). The more than $4 million gift is the largest in the history of CFNEIA, and increases the total asset size of CFNEIA to more than $85 million. Grants from the Ross D. Christensen Family Fund will support charitable causes in northeast Iowa that carry out the mission of CFNEIA.
Dr. Christensen passed away in November 2011, and Patricia, his wife of 49 years, passed away in April 2014. Their son, Dr. Greg Christensen, and daughter, Lisa Kempston, will serve as advisors for the donor-advised fund during their lifetimes. Over their 52 years in Waterloo, the Christensens carried out their belief that a person should give back to their community by volunteering with the Boys and Girls Club, Allen Hospital, Waterloo School Board, Wartburg College, University of Iowa, McElroy Trust, United Way, Silos and Smokestacks, Cedar Valley Arboretum and Botanical Garden, CFNEIA and many other nonprofits and groups that work to improve their community.
Dr. Christensen was born in Atlantic, the son of European immigrants. He left Atlantic and received a BS and DDS from the University of Iowa, and then his masters in orthodontics in 1966, also from the University of Iowa. Dr. Christensen moved his family back to Iowa from the east coast in 1968.