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Harold Kloempken, 95

  Harold Kloempken, 95, died Friday, August 5th, 2011, at LifeCare Manor in Roseau.

Harold George John Kloempken was born in Stewart, MN, to Elizabeth (Blum) and Frederick Kloempken on January 26, 1916. The oldest of three children, he was baptized and confirmed at St. Paul’s Lutheran Church in Stewart, graduated from Stewart HS in 1934 and attended Gustavus Adolphus College in St. Peter, MN, as a math and chemistry major on a football scholarship.

In May of 1942, Harold entered the U.S. Army and was the chief laboratory technician of the 22nd Field Hospital in India and China. Upon discharge as a Staff Sergeant from the U.S. Army in September of 1945, he attended the U of MN and earned a degree in mortuary science.

Harold was united in marriage to Edna Gustafson on May 25, 1946, in Minneapolis. They lived in Minneapolis and Hutchinson before moving to Karlstad, MN, in 1949, where they operated the Kloempken Funeral Home for 18 years. In February of 1951, Harold became the first hospital administrator of the new hospital in Karlstad and served that institution as the administrator, lab and x-ray technician, scrub nurse, and ambulance driver until January of 1967. He had great memories of his years in Karlstad and was an active member of the community, serving as president of the First Lutheran Church Council, Sunday School Superintendent, President of the Lions Club, Civil Service Director, and City Council member. As Rita Walker, a former clinic and hospital employee states, “He was so efficient. He could do anything and everything.”

Harold moved his family to Roseau in January of 1967 to take the position of administrator of the Roseau and Warroad hospitals and nursing homes. He retired from administration in 1983, but continued to work on a part-time basis for two years as the hospital purchasing agent. He was known as a kind and conscientious leader with excellent money management and organizational skills.

He loved architecture and was actively involved and responsible for the Roseau hospital, nursing home and clinic additions.  He was a member of the Roseau Lions Club and the American Legion, and served as the president of the Moe Lutheran Church Council, being actively involved with the education addition building project.  

Harold had many hobbies, including beekeeping, flower and vegetable gardening, drawing, woodcarving, and woodworking, building many furniture pieces for his home, children and grandchildren. A multi-talented individual, his priority in life was to God and family. His children and grandchildren will also remember his skills as a fun storyteller.   

Harold is survived by his children, Glen (Kristine) of Roseau, Carol (Charley) Klotz of Roseau, Jan (Mark) Bierschbach of Milbank, SD, and Sandy (Mitch) Chrzanowski of Roseau; grandchildren, Elisa (Joe) Schmitz, Jeff (Rachel) Bierschbach, Sara (Mike) Adelman, Jake Chrzanowski (fiancé Cassi), Kara (Dan) Schletty, Paul Kloempken, Danny Chrzanowski, and Sally Kloempken; great-grandchildren, Elly, Blake and Drew Schmitz, Tenley Adelman, and Sydney Bierschbach; sister, Betty (Wayne) Fadden;  nephews, Roscoe Herseth and Dr. Ralph (Kathy) Herseth; and nieces, Lynn (Jeff) Colyer, and Jayne (Terry) Coffing.   

He was preceded in death by Edna, his loving wife of 65 years, who passed on May 26, 2011; his parents; brother, Dr. Leslie Kloempken; and grandson, Andy Klotz.

Funeral services will be Friday, August 12th, at 2:00 p.m., at the Roseau Community Church. Military honors will be provided by American Legion Post 24. Intermittent will be at the Hope Cemetery in Roseau.    

Visitation will be held on Thursday evening, August 11th, from 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m., with a prayer service to follow, at the Helgeson Funeral Home; and one hour prior to the service at the church.

Memorial gifts may be donated to the Roseau Community Church or LifeCare Medical Center.

Helgeson Funeral Home of Roseau, MN, is in charge of arrangements. To send condolences to the family online, visit their website:

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