We are deeply sorry for your loss - the staff at Robert H. Wick Funeral Home
John Kenneth Christiansen
John Kenneth Christiansen of Perrysburg Township, Ohio took his last breath on Saturday September 18, 2021. John died after a two-year battle against Stage IV Colorectal cancer. Present were his parents, wife, and daughter. He was only 50 years old.
John was born on December 12, 1970 in Sandwich, IL to Karen (McDonald) and Ken Christiansen.
He was preceded in death by his grandparents; uncle, Gerald Christiansen; and nephew, Sullivan Ira Christiansen.
Surviving in Perrysburg township are his wife of 30 years, Melanie; and his daughter, Constance "Connie" Christiansen. Also surviving are his parents; brother, Topher; and nephew, Xavier (all of Jacksonville, FL); and a niece, Jillian (Will) Cromar in Washington State. John maintained a special closeness to his uncle James "Jim" Christiansen who visited often from his home in Europe with his own daughter, Gwen, who also survive along with many other aunts, uncles, cousins, in-laws, and friends – all loved and too numerous to list.
Early Life and Education
John grew up mostly in Defiance, Ohio. He loved learning, nature, enjoying summers at Grandma McDonald's cottage in Wisconsin, playing with his little brother, listening to NPR, and reading books such as Carl Sagan's Cosmos. Later, he was involved in boy scouts, soccer, cross-country, junior achievement, quiz team, chess club, the school news paper and various other activities. He earned scholarships to cover tuition, room and board at University of Toledo where he graduated in 1993 with degrees in Chemistry and Mathematics. Having married his high school sweetheart in 1991, they moved to Bloomington Indiana to further his education in computational chemistry.
At age 15, John began his first battle with cancer: Stage IV Non Hodgkin's Lymphoma. He was treated at what is now UTMC for several months with very strong chemo that made him severely ill and unable to attend high school for a time. On June 21, 1987 John was proclaimed cancer-free by his medical team.
It wasn't until thirty years later that John went to his general practitioner with worries of abdominal pains and requested testing. At that time, the doctor ordered blood tests for his original cancer to assure him that it hadn't recurred and recommended exercise and dietary changes. However, 2 years later his colorectal cancer was diagnosed at Stage IV, spread to his lungs and liver. He was 48. John was delighted that Dr. Roland Skeel accepted him as a patient again, knowing that he would use aggressive treatments to fight the cancer. After over a year of somewhat successful treatment, tumors began to grow in John's brain, where it impaired his vision. Treatment continued and included chemotherapy, radiation, and brain surgery, extending his life.
John was recruited to work at Harold McMaster's Solar Cells Incorporated in July of 1995. A small company of less than 30 employees at the time, it is now known as First Solar, a global leader in advanced solar. He was very dedicated to his work and put in many hours over his 26-year career. He was known as a reliable source of company history. His name is included on several First Solar patents. The most visible results of his work are the panels at The Toledo Zoo. Continuing to work throughout his treatment, he went into the office and labs as long as his body would allow it. Even then, he worked from home and answered co-worker questions until he lost the ability to do so. He was determined to be helpful as long as possible.
Outside of work, John enjoyed nature walks, visiting the zoo, backyard bird feeding/critter watching, playing cards and boardgames, swimming in his pond, cooking, building computers, researching tech advancements, and weekly online gaming with his brother. He dreamed of boats, campers, lake houses, and cross-country family trips. He was not ready to leave this world and fought to the end.
John planned a natural burial of his body at Foxfield Nature Preserve through Wick & Wisniewski Funeral Home. This will take place Tuesday September 21, privately. A "Celebration of Life" is planned for June 2022, at First Unitarian Church of Toledo, where his wife is a member and he served as honorary grill-master for several picnics, where all are welcome.
Instead of flowers, please consider a donation to one of these two non-profits:
Colorectal Cancer Alliance (ccalliance.org) Foxfield Preserve (foxfieldpreserve.org)
Above all, get a colonoscopy. They do save lives.