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Christen recognized for 30 years of service

by Joey Crandall

Werner Christen was only supposed to be around long enough to help the Douglas County Recorder’s Office catch up with its filing.

His plan was simple: Work for two weeks, head off to college and become a teacher so he could coach high school sports.

Thirty years later, Christen is ultimately where he wanted to be, although he took a very different route to get there.

“I wanted to teach so that I could coach sports,” Christen said. “That was my dream. “Two weeks with the county turned into 30 years. I don’t know what else to say.”

Christen took a job from then County Recorder Pat Williams in 1975 and has been with the county ever since.

“Pat was my neighbor, she was good friends with my mom,” Christen said. “They had a ton of filing to catch up on and I’d just been let go at the Safeway.

“I came in to work for them for just a few weeks. I got the pay check and it was pretty good money at the time, so I thought I’d stick it out.”

Christen was elected county recorder three years ago, and said he will be running again next term.

In the last 20 years, he’s also become one of Northern Nevada’s most respected coaches, guiding the Douglas High girls’ basketball team to a 134-80 record over the last eight years.

He was recognized with a proclamation honoring his tenure by the Douglas County Board of Commissioners Thursday.

“It’s been some great times,” Christen said. “I’ve met some great people and worked for some excellent recorders. The time has just flown by.”

The ceremony at the commissioners’ meeting was a complete surprise to Christen.

“I knew I had 30 years,” he said. “We were supposed to do this a month ago but I had to be in Winnemucca with the girls’ team.”

Andy Hughes hired Christen to coach freshman boys’ basketball at Douglas nearly 20 years ago. Hughes is now Christen’s assistant with the girls’ program.

Christen was born at Burtonwood Air Force Base in England and moved to Douglas County in 1965 with his parents. He graduated from Whittell High School in 1975.

He oversees the records management division for Douglas County, which is chard with the recordation of legal documents relating to land transfers and marriages. He was the first male recorder in Douglas County since Fred Klotz in 1918.

n Joey Crandall can be reached at jcrandall@recordcourier.com or at (775) 782-5121, ext. 212.