Karen Johnson, 71, of Thief River Falls, MN passed away on Wednesday, April 4, 2018 at Altru Hospital in Grand Forks, ND with her loving family at her side following a six month battle with cancer.  True to her Scandinavian Heritage she was gracious and strong to the end.

The Memorial Service will be held 11:00 AM on Tuesday, April 10, 2018 at Zion Lutheran Church in Thief River Falls, MN with Rev. Ale Tulu and Rev. John Golv officiating.  Visitation will be held one hour prior to the service.  Burial will be held in the spring at Greenwood Cemetery in Thief River Falls.

Karen Eileen Anderson was born February 7, 1947 in Roseau, MN daughter of Ingvald and Ragna (Aune) Anderson of Gatzke, MN.  She was baptized and confirmed at United Lutheran Church of Gatzke.  She attended school in Gatzke and graduated from Middle River High School.

On October 17, 1964, Karen was united in marriage to Leon Johnson at First Lutheran Church in Middle River.  To this union 3 children were born Paul, Kim and Keith.  They made their home in Thief River Falls and this past year celebrated 53 years of love, joy and companionship.

Karen worked various jobs throughout the years however her primary focus and dedication was to her family.

Karen was strong in her faith and an active member of Zion Lutheran Church in Thief River Falls, MN. Karen volunteered in the gift shop at Sanford Hospital in Thief River Falls and was a member of the Sanford Auxiliary.

As a mother of two sons with disabilities, she was passionate and a strong advocate for individuals with special needs. Karen served as a past board member of the DAC and was a parent volunteer with PACER Center for many years.  One of her greatest enjoyments was providing disability awareness training through the puppet program.

Karen enjoyed reading, traveling, camping, cooking, baking, decorating, playing games, shopping and visiting with friends.  Most of all she was a devoted wife and mother who loved spending time with her family.  She had a wonderful sense of humor and embraced life with poise and grace.

Karen is survived by her loving husband Leon and children Paul, Kim and Keith, all of Thief River Falls, MN, sibling Sharon (Ken) Wagner, Thief River Falls, MN; step-brothers Merlyn (Betty) Haroldson, Wausau, WI, and Clair (Chris) Haroldson, El Dorado Hills, CA; brother-in-law DelRoy (Tammy) Johnson, Middle River, MN; aunts Emma Anderson, Middle River, MN and Evelyn Davidson, Moorhead, MN; nieces, Lisa, Lana, Lora, and Megan; nephew, Mason; and many other relatives and friends.

Karen is preceded in death by her parents, brother Sheldon Anderson and step-father Myron Haroldson.


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