Karen Louise Backlund, 61, of Hallock, MN., passed away on Wednesday,
February 25, 2014. Karen was born in Crookston, Minnesota on
February 21, 1953, to Folke and Helen Backlund of Orleans, Minnesota.
Karen graduated from Hallock High School in 1971. She moved to the
Twin Cities, where she attended the University of Minnesota,
graduating in 2003 with a BA in Literature and Composition. Karen
was employed by numerous departments at the University of Minnesota
during this period, ending her career there at the Complete Scholar
Program in 2003, when she returned to Hallock.
After returning to Hallock, Karen continued her education at
Northland College in Thief River Falls, where she graduated and
became a Licensed Practical Nurse. Upon graduation she worked for
Lutheran Social Services as a home health nurse.
Karen was an active member of the community and county. She was a
patron and a supporter of the Hallock Library where she substituted
as librarian. She also arranged and sponsored three Workshop
Programs dealing with crafts such as book binding and box making.
Karen served on the Kittson County Museum Board from 2004 to 2009.
In 2007, her nomination of Fredrick McKinley Jones to the Minnesota
Historical Society’s sesquicentennial “MN 150” exhibit was selected
out of nearly 3,000 submissions. Her interest in historical
research continued and in 2011 Karen worked on a Kittson County War
Veteran Oral History Project for the Kittson County Historical
Society. These interviews and final compilation of information are
now at the Kittson County Museum. Karen was a life-long member of
the Hallock Presbyterian Church and served during the last year as
the church secretary.
Karen was a music aficionado as well as a skilled pianist. She
taught piano to both children and adults, with skill, patience and
humor. She served as an accompanist for the church choir, and she
frequently accompanied musicians and vocalists at weddings. She
often shared her love of music with friends whom she invited to
attend evenings with her at the St. Anthony Park “Music in the Park”
Karen was a person of many interests ranging from movies to opera or
just to ‘a good old hockey game.’ Karen was also a gifted writer,
who shared her humor and insight with readers of her blog, “Views
from a Curious World.” Karen wrote a book entitled, “Liljekonvalj,”
a story about her father leaving his family in Sweden and immigrating
to America as a young man. It was published in 2005 by Ephemeral
Press. Hers was a writing talent enjoyed and admired by all who knew
Karen was preceded in death by her parents, Folke and Helen. She
will be sincerely missed by her many friends and relatives who had
the pleasure of her company. In a final tribute to Karen let us
share a thought she expressed in the ending sentence of her blog
entry titled DVD Fest, ”Until next time, keep a song in your heart
and a groove in your step.”
She is survived by cousins……
A graveside service celebrating Karen’s life will be held on
Saturday, June 21st, 2014 at 1:00 p.m. in Greenwood Cemetery,
Hallock. Rev. Marge Landwehr, presiding. Memorials may be sent to
the Presbyterian Church in Hallock. The Austin Funeral Home in
Hallock is in charge of arrangements.