Written by Darla Downs
Karien L. Zimmerman, 95, passed away peacefully on Sunday, Feb. 16, 2014, at Elim Rehab and Care Center, Fargo, N.D., surrounded by her earthly and heavenly loved ones.
Karien was born on April 10, 1918, in Duluth, Minn., to Raymond and Huldah Welsch. She spent her childhood in Duluth and graduated from Du luth State Teachers College (UMD) in July of 1939. Upon completion of college, she moved to Rothsay, Minn., where she taught school for three years. It was in Rothsay where she met her future husband, Lester “Les” W. Zimmerman, and on April 25, 1941, they were married in Rothsay. For a period of time during World War II, she moved to several places around the country to accompany Les as he fulfilled his duties in the U.S. Army.
Upon Les’ discharge from the Army in 1943, they moved to Wolf Point, Mont., where they owned and operated a Coast-to-Coast hardware store. In addition to helping in the store and raising her two boys, Bruce and Kent, Karien devoted much of her time and talent to the First Lutheran Church in Wolf Point where she was the church’s organist. In 1962, Les and Karien moved to Moorhead, Minn., where again they operated a Coast-to-Coast hardware store with her brother-in-law, Donald, until Les’ semi-retirement in 1970.
Besides being a gifted musician, Karien was a talented knitter, seamstress and always had a bit of “fancywork” by her chair. Karien’s parents bred Boston terriers, so when Karien and Les decided to get a family dog, there was no question as to the breed. Tyke arrived by train that Christmas for Bruce and Kent. She loved her five Boston terrier “granddogs” and giggled knowing K.C. (Karien Clara) was partly her namesake.
Karien also enjoyed sports and even in her later years knew all the professional athlete’s names and stats. She was especially fond of the Twins and Vikings and reminisced fondly of their yearly RV tailgating trips. Karien and Les loved to travel in their RV and in the early 1950s, they traveled to Florida and then continued on to spend a month in Cuba. Having graduated from high school in three years and working beside Les for over thirty years, Karien believed strongly in the advantage of both a good education and a strong work ethic.
During the more than 50 years she lived in the F-M area, Karien was especially blessed to have a major part in her nearby family’s lives. Her son, Kent, and daughter-in-law, Jean, provided her many hours of loving, caring attention. And she absolutely cherished being an active participant in the lives of her grandsons, Andrew and Micah. Karien was also mindful and grateful for the care and love she received from the staff and administration of Elim Rehab and Care Center of Fargo, where she resided in recent years until her passing.
Karien was a woman of strong faith and courage. In addition to the years of service she gave to the First Lutheran Church in Wolf Point, she was an active member of Trinity Lutheran Church, Moorhead. It can now be known that Karien and Les were the silent benefactors of the “Marriage Takes Three” plaque given many years to every Trinity wedding couple. In later years when she could no longer attend Sunday services in person, a highlight of her week was being able to hear church services on the radio. She loved her family and worked hard every day to ensure they were well provided for, both spiritually and materially.
She is survived by her son, Bruce, Spokane, Wash.; daughter-in-law, Jean Zimmerman, Fargo; sister-in-law, Jeanne
Welsch, Kennewick, Wash.; seven grandchildren, Andrew, Micah, Kevin, Phil, Marialice, Susan, and Frank; and numerous nieces and nephews.
Karien was preceded in death by her husband, Les Zimmerman; son, Kent Zimmerman; parents, Raymond and Huldah Welsch; brother, Calvin Welsch; and daughter-in-law, Susan Zimmerman.
Visitation began at 1 p.m., with a memorial service at 2 p.m. on Wednesday, Feb. 19, 2014, in Elim Rehab and Care Center Chapel, Fargo. Inurnment will be in Riverside Cemetery, Moorhead. Memorials may be directed to Elim Rehab and Care Center.
Arrangements with Korsmo Funeral Service, Moorhead.
Online guestbook www.korsmofuneralservice.com