Cover photo for Fern Kahlson's Obituary
1938 Fern 2019

Fern Kahlson

March 28, 1938 — May 1, 2019

Fern C. (Larsen) Kahlson, 81, passed away Wednesday, May 1, 2019. Services will be 1 PM on Friday, May 10, at Union Congregational Church (UCC) in Hackensack.

She once wrote a paper she named “Following Fern’s Footsteps”. That paper and Fern are now gone but here is our version of her path through life.

Fern was born to Lillian (Johnson) and Merle Larson March 28, 1938, in Duluth, MN. She had 3 siblings, Joanne (Roy) Line, Judy Pearson and Gordy (Becky) Larsen. Fern graduated from Denfeld High School and went to work for Minnesota Power. She had a kind, caring, humorous and hardworking spirit which was evident in everything she did throughout her life.

She met her husband, Richard Kahlson, they had 2 children Karen (Brian) Tooker and Kris (Mark) Biessener and lived in Minneapolis for a few years, spent a brief stint in Oak Park, Illinois before settling in a suburb of Pittsburgh, PA for the next 11 years. During this period in her life she raised her children, made unbelievable Halloween costumes, threw fabulous parties, and volunteered at Westminster Presbyterian Church in a variety of roles including youth group leader. Along the way she started working for Control Data Corporation as a receptionist and went back to school. She parted ways with her husband in 1980 and started to climb the “corporate ladder” within Control Data. These jobs took her to New Jersey, back to Minnesota and once again to Chicago. She ended her career at Control Data as a Director of Operations (not bad for a woman who started as a receptionist with a high school diploma). She spent a few years in California before the lure of Minnesota was calling yet again. She returned and bought a resort in Hackensack with her daughter, Kris, which they ran for 8 years and made many wonderful friends and memories. Fern worked in the office at Reeds Sporting Goods during that time as well.

After she sold the resort, Fern moved into Hackensack and had time to pursue her lifelong passion for gardening. She joined United Congregational Church (UCC) in Hackensack where she was the financial secretary and was instrumental in their building addition. She was also gifted with 3 wonderful grandchildren Mathias, Morgan and Claire Biessener, with whom she spent as much time as possible.

At some point in her late 60’s we began to notice she was beginning to forget little things. This forgetfulness continued to progress until it was time for her to move into assisted living and ultimately into a memory care facility.

Although Fern passed away from complications from Alzheimer’s, and as the disease slowly progressed it robbed her of the ability to communicate and remember her wonderful life, it did not erase our memories and for that we are forever grateful.

We would like to thank all the staff at Edgewater/May Creek Memory Care Cottages for the wonderful care, attention and friendship they provided her during her time there.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Fern Kahlson, please visit our flower store.


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