Cover photo for Carolyn Blixrud's Obituary
Carolyn Blixrud Profile Photo
1927 Carolyn 2016

Carolyn Blixrud

October 6, 1927 — November 28, 2016

Carolyn Jean Ackerson was born Thursday, October 6, 1927, the second child and only daughter of Arthur Harold and Isabella Mary Simpson Ackerson. Her early years were spent on the Ackerson farm in rural Elbow Lake, MN, and growing up she spent much time with her cousins at the Simpson family cottage on nearby Ten Mile Lake. She played clarinet for the high school band, and was part of the musical tribute when Crown Prince Olav of Norway passed through Elbow Lake in 1942. She graduated from Elbow Lake High School in 1945, and that summer she and a friend obtained jobs with the War Department and took off via train to embark on their adventure, spending 18 months in Washington DC. She worked for an insurance company in Minneapolis for 3 years prior to her marriage to Thomas Christen Blixrud on June 3, 1950. Together they ran the dairy and small grain farm and raised three daughters on the Blixrud family homestead south of Barrett MN until Tom's death in 1974. She went back to outside work, first in the office at Barrett High School, then at the ASCS Office in Elbow Lake, from which she retired in 1990. In 1979 she moved from the farm back to Elbow Lake, where she lived until 2013 when she moved to Colorado to be nearer to her daughter Janet. Over the years Carolyn was active in the Willing Workers Sewing Circle of Immanuel Lutheran Church and WELCA at Peace Lutheran Church, both in Barrett; Eastern Star (Rufus Chapter), the Homemakers' Club, and the Study Club of Elbow Lake; served as a 4-H mom and leader; worked with the Elbow Lake Hospital Auxiliary; and was on the team which put together the Grant County Heritage history book published 1991. Her love of music manifested itself in little bursts of song at the slightest provocation. She was an avid reader, and enthusiastically embraced new technologies – like programming her VCR (and somehow managing to get it switched into Spanish) and working on a computer, surprising her daughters by getting it up and running and announcing her new venture via email. After retirement, Carolyn traveled extensively, from cruising in Alaska and the Bahamas, to trips to England, Scotland, and Wales as well as Australia and many regions throughout the US. She also visited Germany and Paris while her daughter and son in law were stationed overseas with the military. She took up golf and dabbled in a little cross-country skiing. She loved traveling to see her daughters; they used to joke about whose turn it was to get Mom for Christmas! Carolyn passed away Monday, November 28th, 2016 in Westminster, Colorado with her daughters by her side. She was preceded in death by her parents, husband, Tom Blixrud, brother, Robert John Ackerson, son-in-law, Bruce McMillan, and several brothers- and sisters-in-law. She is survived by her daughters, Janet Marie (Bruce Miller), Shirley Jean (Brad Kennell), and Mary Elizabeth (Kevin Sletten); grandchildren, Charles Willman Jr (sons Brent Welsh [Brianna Miller, children Noah and Leahara], and Charles Willman III), Thomas Willman (Dana; children Sebastian and Sabrina), Daniel Willman (Jessica), Brian Kennell (Savannah), and Andrew Kennell; cousin and sister-in-law, Eileen Ackerson Blixrud, special cousins, Elfrida Ackerson Strand, Harriet Ackerson Potmesil (Polly), Kathleen Hudson Glynn, Isabella Hudson Wilkin, Betty Simpson Berglin, and a host of nieces, nephews and friends. A Memorial Service will be held at 2PM on Saturday, December 17, 2016 at Peace Lutheran Church, Barrett, MN, with Reverend Don Reisig officiating. Memorials may be directed to the Immanuel Lutheran Church Cemetery Association of Barrett, MN. Arrangements are with Erickson-Smith Funeral Home of Elbow Lake.

Funeral Home: Erickson-Smith Funeral Home - Elbow Lake 116 1st Street NE Elbow Lake, MN US 56531

Previous Events

Saturday, December 17, 2016
2:00 PM
Messiah Lutheran Church

116 1st Street NE
Elbow Lake, MN 56531

Saturday, December 17, 2016
Immanuel Lutheran Cemetery

Barrett, MN

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