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Karen Petterson


Karen Lynn Petterson, age 65, a lifelong Menahga, Minnesota area resident, died of progressive multifocal leukoencephalopathy (PML) on Tuesday, February 18, 2020, at her home in Menahga, with her husband at her side.

Karen was born on March 11, 1954, to Gordon “Gordy” and Milja (Karkinen) Pederson in Menahga. Milja died in 1959. Gordy married Karen’s step-mother Janice Brasel in 1962.
Karen attended Menahga Public School and graduated in 1972. During high school, she skillfully worked in the Menahga health clinic. After graduating, she worked briefly in downtown Minneapolis before completing an AA in cosmetology at Wadena Technical College and winning a state competition in hair styling.

She was united in marriage to Kyle Petterson in 1979, and their union was blessed with two sons: Luke (1979) and Thomas (1982). While raising her children, Karen worked as a hairstylist, in-home daycare provider, and receptionist. After living in Moorhead and Hutchinson with her family, she returned to Menahga in 1988, where she lived for the rest of her life.

At Menahga Public School, she was a paraprofessional educator for 18 years until her retirement in May 2019. She also coached cheerleading for many years. With Karen’s patience and gentle encouragement, her pupils surpassed their academic goals.

Karen dedicated her life to making a warm and loving home for her husband, sons, and grandchildren. She was an exceptionally kind person, a talented cook, a caring friend, an avid birdwatcher, and an unmatched housekeeper. A devoted mother, Karen was extremely supportive of her sons’ musical endeavors, never missing a performance or complaining about endless hours of noisy rehearsal. She had a great sense of humor. At Menahga’s annual St Urho’s Day festivities, she enjoyed dressing up as a grasshopper with her friends, family, and, sometimes, dog. Karen loved to garden and especially enjoyed watering her flowers with her grandchildren.

She was a longtime, faithful member of the First English Lutheran Church of Menahga.

Karen will be dearly missed and lovingly remembered by: her husband of 41 years, Kyle; her sons: Luke, and Thomas (Flora); her beloved grandchildren: Mabel and Fredrik; her step-mother, Janice; sisters: Sue Potter (Steve), and Sarah Murn (Tom); brothers: Steve Pederson, Tim Pederson (Monica), and Jim Pederson, as well as many other relatives and friends who loved her dearly.

She was preceded in death by her father, Gordy, and mother, Milja.

Memorial Services will be held at 1 p.m. on Saturday, February 29, 2020 at First English Lutheran Church in Menahga, with visitation one hour prior to the service at the church.

Arrangements were entrusted to Wevley Funeral Home of Sebeka. Online condolences may be left at

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