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Karen Erickson

Karen Erickson

Feb. 22, 1943-April 13, 2013

Former Fertile resident Karen Helen (Over-land) Erickson, 70, of Detroit Lakes, died Saturday, April 13, 2013 at Sanford Health in Fargo, due to complications following surgery.

Born to parents Edwin and Helen Overland on February 22, 1943 in Crookston, Karen was raised in Fertile, graduating from Fertile High School in 1961.

On June 10, 1961 she married Norman Erickson Jr. After a short stay in Virginia Beach, Va., while Norm completed his naval service, they returned to Fertile, where they purchased and operated Cities Service gas station.

Karen and Norm were soon growing their family as first Johnny, then Bernie and finally Naomi were keeping them busy. Time was also spent providing a home for many family pets, but she truly cherished caring for her two white Arabian horses, King and Cheyenne.

In the early 1970s, she partnered with Jan Lyson to open the Book and Bible Shoppe in Fertile. After selling her interest in the book store, she and Norm completed construction of a new service station and bulk fuel facility north of Fertile.

Karen and Norm's love for family, friends and the outdoors led to hosting countless summer celebrations at their lake home on Maple Lake, to enjoy water sports and the hot tub. Their memories of summers at the lake and hosting family gatherings to coincide with the Polk County Fair provided countless stories and laughter over the years.

After raising their family, Karen and Norm spent many days traveling and visiting family and friends before she lost the love of her life with Norm's sudden passing in 2002.

Karen continued to operate Erickson Oil for one year before selling the business and family home and retiring to Detroit Lakes. She kept busy by caring for friends and loved ones, enjoying the lake with Naomi and granddaughter, Paige, and working part-time in the children's department at Norby's Department Store.

She enjoyed getting together with her siblings, nieces and nephews at the annual Overland family reunions hosted by Bernie and David the past several years.

Surviving Karen are her son Bernie (David Hamilton); daughter Naomi (Rob Goral); grandchildren Brandon, Valerie and Paige; brothers Ronn (Mardi) and Harold (Janet); sister Rebecca (Ajit) Venkatramen; Norm's siblings, Jim (Kathy), Jerry (Pat), Jennifer (Gary) Gullekson and Don (Lois); and many nieces, nephews and cousins.

Preceding her in death were her first son, John William Erickson (1969); husband Norm; sister-in-law Elayne; parents Ed and Helen Overland; and parents-in-law Norman and Gladys Erickson.

Visitation will be from 5 to 7 p.m. Wednesday, April 17, with a time of remembrance and sharing at 6 p.m., in West-Kjos Funeral Home, Detroit Lakes.

The funeral will be at 10:30 a.m. Thursday, April 18 in the Maple Bay Free Lutheran Church located at 11703 Ash St. S.E. (approximately 10 miles northeast of Fertile off Polk County Road 12).

A reception will follow at Concordia Lutheran Church, located on State Highway 32 at Jefferson Avenue S.W., Fertile.

Those wanting to share memories and condolences online may use the guestbook section at