Mary Kay Klein 1951 – 2023
Mary Kay Klein, 71, of Bemidji, MN died Friday, April 28, 2023 after a brief bout with pancreatic cancer.
Mary Kay was born October 21, 1951 in Grand Forks, ND, the daughter of Walter and Vivienne Christensen. She graduated from East Grand Forks High School in 1969. In 1973 Mary Kay graduated from St. Cloud State University and taught English for four years in Little Falls. She married Bob Klein on August 9, 1974 in St. Cloud. Mary graduated from the University of North Dakota School of Law in 1980. She then served as a law clerk for two years for the Federal District of North Dakota before moving to Bemidji. Mary Kay practiced law with the Smith Law Firm and with Carpenter, Benshoof and Klein. Eventually Mary Kay opened her own practice as Klein Law Firm Ltd., she retired in 2014 after 31 years of practice.
Over the years Mary Kay was recognized by the American Bar Association and her peers as a leading Minnesota Attorney and as a Super Lawyer. She was known throughout the Northern Minnesota legal community as a tireless advocate for her clients. She also served as a member of a statewide task force of the Minnesota Higher Education Center Against Violence and Abuse. She was appointed Federal Magistrate Judge in 2003 and served in this position for 12 years. Judge Klein’s colleagues were grateful not only for her outstanding work, but also for her “great smile and the twinkle in her eye”.
Mary Kay and Bob enjoyed their home on the Mississippi River in Bemidji. Both dog lovers- they raised and loved many special pups through the years. Mary Kay was a world traveller, an avid reader and grew beautiful flowers. During the summer months Mary Kay and Bob enjoyed lake living and their many friends at Stony Point on Cass Lake.
She had an especially close bond with her siblings. They were very fortunate to share special times together through the years. How lucky to have so many wonderful memories of an extraordinary sister. Forever we will love and remember our sister and wife, MK.
Mary Kay is survived by her husband of 49 years Bob; siblings, Jean Marohl of Fargo, Charlie (Monica) of Bemidji, Sandy (Dave) Gregory of Cass Lake, and Brian (Nancy) Christensen of Victoria; several nieces and nephews, great nieces and great nephews.
Mary Kay was preceded in death by her parents, and her brother Stephen Christensen.
A memorial service will be held on Saturday, May 6, 2023 at Cease Family Funeral Home in Bemidji with Father Michael Arey. Visitation will be from 1-2:30 followed by a prayer service.
In lieu of flowers the family prefers memorials to Bemidji Public Library, Bemidji Senior Center, Great River Rescue, or Northwoods Battered Women’s Shelter
A Celebration of Life is planned at Stony Point Resort, Cass Lake on Saturday, June 10 from 2-5 p.m. Condolences may be left at ceasefuneralhome.com5-3