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Region said farewell in 2018 to many notable contributors at seen in Leader-Telegram

Posted 1/7/2019

As seen in the Leader-Telegram about BJ Farmer and Michael Christensen:

Brian J. "BJ" Farmer was a community-minded businessman and philanthropist who made things happen. He died in September at 97.

“He really was an example of the best of that generation,” said Ann Kaiser, director of philanthropy for HSHS Sacred Heart Hospital, who knew Farmer and his wife, Bea, from their donations to the medical facility. “Being a World War II pilot, an entrepreneur, a business leader, a philanthropic leader — his life was a tremendous example of service and pouring yourself into others.”

Former Eau Claire Area Chamber of Commerce President Bob McCoy said Eau Claire is a better place because of Farmer.

“This community wouldn’t be where it is today if it wasn’t for people like BJ Farmer," McCoy said.

Michael Christensen
, chief executive officer of Grace Lutheran Communities, led the organization through multiple expansion projects during his 20 years at the nonprofit. He died in November at 65.

“He could have gone somewhere else and made way more money,” said Diane Rowe, who worked with Christensen. “But he chose to stay at Grace ... He was so loyal to this place.”

You can read the full article on the many notable contributors of 2018 here.