Karen Kjolhaug, 58, Duluth, passed away unexpectedly on July 11, 2017. Karen was born in Duluth on November 22, 1958 to parents Dean and Marianne (Ostrom) Kjolhaug. A lifelong resident of Duluth, she was a graduate of Duluth East High School and the University of Minnesota-Duluth.
Karen's life was guided by her dedication to working for social justice and empowering others. Her compassion was boundless. These values led to a career in youth education and community development where her creativity, love of the arts, and ready laughter were fully engaged. Through positions at the Duluth YMCA Camp Miller, and the Northern Pine Girl Scout Council, Karen created unique opportunities for staff development, team building, and personal growth. During 20 years as Director of Camp Roundelay, she kindled a love of the environment and being outdoors among generations of campers, counselors, and community members.
She had a unique gift for connecting with all living beings and making people feel special. Her visionary leadership and tireless determination to make a difference were demonstrated throughout her life.
Left to cherish her spirit are her life partner Kelly Looby; her mother Marianne Kjolhaug; her brother Erick (Marybeth) Kjolhaug and their children Leah and Gus; loving uncles, aunts, and cousins; and a multitude of friends.
In lieu of flowers, memorials can be made to the Gloria Dei Rebuilding Fund at 219 N. 6th Avenue East, Duluth, MN 55805. A Celebration of Karen's Life will be held at Pilgrim Congregational Church, 2310 E. 4th St., Duluth, MN 55812 on Sunday, July 23, with visitation from 1:00 - 2:00 followed by a service at 2:00.