Ken Christensen Dies at 84; Had Key Role in Housing and Other Public Policies

Kenneth A. Christensen, a former member of the Huntington Town Board who was active in housing, environmental and other community activities, died Friday. The Greenlawn resident was 84.

He was the key figure behind the town’s accessory apartment law, several of his colleagues said, and also served as a director of the Economic Development Corporation. He also served with the Environmental Open Space and Park Fund. In 1995, he helped to form Leadership Huntington, an annual program that helps people develop leadership skills and exposes them to different spheres of interest so that they can better serve their community.

Town Supervisor Ed Smyth said, “Ken Christensen was a pillar of our community who will be sorely missed. He served on the town council and never stopped serving the town.”

Richard Koubek, who worked him on housing and other causes over the years, said, “He was a town father. He was a father of the Huntington Township Housing Coalition and an author of the accessory apartment law. He was instrumental in creating the town law that required an affordable housing set-aside component. Every person who needed affordable housing is feeling his loss.”

Town Receiver of Taxes Jillian Guthman said, “The influence of Ken Christensen in Huntington will forever be felt in the areas of affordable housing and open space. He was truly a trustee of our precious town.”

Roger Weaving, the vice president of the housing coalition, said, “Ken was someone who served the town, often to his own detriment. We should all strive to be as good a citizen as Ken Christensen.” He described Christensen as a “connector,” someone who was active in many organizations and able to bring people from different groups together to tackle an issue. “So many of the town institutions he either started or put them into a much bigger framework.”

In recent years, he wrote a book, “Respectfully Yours: Family Man, Servant, Leader” about his life and experiences.

Former Town Supervisor Frank Petrone said, ” Ken was perhaps the most caring of elected officials who thought and made decisions well above political convenience and the  partisan clubhouse.  He was always consistent in his actions as related to the needs of the town and of its constituents.  He never forgot the underdog and the under served.  Ken was a mentor and friend.”

Christensen was the husband of Nancy, and father of Brian, Eric (Lisa), Kerri (Chris) Chiodo, and Kelly (Tim) Madden, and nine grandchildren, and was the brother of Lois (Walter) Hart and Karen (Bob) Atkins.

Visitation Sunday 2-4 & 7-9 PM at M.A. Connell Funeral Home, 934 New York Ave., Huntington Station. Funeral Mass, Monday 10 AM at St. Francis of Assisi Church, Greenlawn.

Interment to follow at Pinelawn Memorial Park. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Kenneth Christensen memorial fund.

Ken Christensen, Long-Time Resident, Tells His Story

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