Ronald Arlie Christensen

Ronald Arlie Christensen was born November 29, 1937 in Plattsmouth, Nebraska to Arlie and Elinore (Smetana) Christensen, the eldest of four children. He grew up in Mason City, Iowa and graduated from Mason City High School as valedictorian. He went on to earn a B.S. in electrical engineering from Iowa State University, M.S. in mechanical engineering from California Institute of Technology, J.D. from Harvard Law School, and PhD in theoretical physics from University of California at Berkeley.

He worked for IBM in Germany, Rand Corporation, U.S. Department of Justice newly created Science and Technology section during the Johnson Administration, and Arthur D. Little in Cambridge, MA before establishing the statistical analysis consulting firm Entropy Limited.

He was a true Renaissance man with an insatiable curiosity about the world around him. Scientist, writer, teacher, artist, piano student, avid collector of thousands of coins, books, movies, and music CDs. Later in life, he traveled the world. He was on the board of the Whale Institute. He enjoyed monthly meetings of like-minded friends in a science club held at a Chinese restaurant in Cambridge. He also enjoyed attending concerts of the Boston Symphony Orchestra at Symphony Hall and Tanglewood. A highlight of each year was the annual Tuba Christmas performance at Fanueil Hall in Boston.

Ronald loved playing chess, GO and pool with his grandsons whom he adored. He also enjoyed spending time up in Maine.

His infectious enthusiasm had an impact on all around him wherever he went. Many tell stories of how he encouraged them to believe in themselves and pursue their interests, literally changing their lives. He was a gentle soul, loved by many, always fun to be with.

He is survived by his beloved long time companion and best friend, Barbara Hogan, his children Shaun Cutts and Joanna of Allston, MA and Shannon Cutts and Timothy Hudyncia of Coventry, RI, his grandchildren Morgan and Oliver Cutts, his brothers Dennis Christensen of Cedar Rapids, Iowa, and Larry Christensen of Victor Idaho, and sister Mary Lou Christensen and John Swenson of Medford, MA as well as many nieces and nephews and dear friends.

A memorial celebration is being planned. In lieu of flowers, contributions in his memory may be made to Ocean Alliance, 32 Horton St., Gloucester, MA 01930 and to Winchester Hospital Foundation (for the Cancer Care Center) 41 Highland Ave., Winchester, MA 01890.

To leave a condolence or share a memory, please click below.


Let the family know you care by sharing this tribute.

1 Condolence

  1. Jason christensen on August 14, 2016 at 4:07 pm

    All our thoughts and prayers are with uncle Ron’s family today. All of us down here in Iowa didn’t really get to keep up with uncle Ron like his immediate family and sister Mary Lou did, but what we did hear was always great and intriguing.

    All our love,

    Jason and Zach Christensen

Leave a Condolence