It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of
Mary Ellen (Vig) Karlberg in New York after a long
struggle with Alzheimer’s disease, peaceful at last on July
7, 2019 at the age of 75. Mary was born in Naeve
Hospital in Albert Lea, MN on October 28, 1943 to Lucille
(Hansen) Vig and A.M. (Bill) Vig. Mary’s grandfather
helped start Dana College in Blair, Nebraska and she
grew up attending Trinity Lutheran in Albert Lea, MN
where she was baptized, confirmed, and married James
(Jim) Ernest Karlberg in 1967.
The Marine Corps allowed them to travel all over the
world, until retirement brought them back to Minnesota in
1991. They lived in Eden Prarie, MN until 2014, when
they moved to NY to be near daughter Kristen’s family as
Mary’s Alzheimer’s disease progressed.
Mary attended school in Albert Lea and graduated in 1962
from Albert Lea High School. She attended Mankato
State University and then worked for the Northwestern
Bell telephone company in Minneapolis. After marrying
Jim, Mary was a partner in Yarn, Candles & Straw in
North Carolina, served as a cooking class instructor in
Japan, worked in a jewelry store in Arizona, a babysitter in
Tennessee, a volunteer extraordinaire in Oklahoma, and
rental agent and maker of polar fleece Vig Lids hats and
created beautiful stuffed bears in Eden Prairie, Minnesota.
Mary was many things, among them a helper of all and
listener to many. She was always ready to sew, bake or
pray for you. Mary was grace and peace and love. Her
talent as a Bible study leader, quilter, seamstress, and
baker allowed her to fulfill her role as the ultimate
supporter of her family and friends. She was always on
call to help with grandchildren and cousins, and hosted
Thanksgiving dinners and prepared Christmas cookies
and Danish kringle for the extended family.
Mary was very active in Baptist churches beginning in
Japan and continuing on in Valley Baptist in Yuma, AZ to
Shelby Forest Baptist Church in Millington, TN, Trinity
Baptist Church in Yukon, OK, and Wooddale Church in
Eden Prairie, MN.
Mary is survived by her loving husband of 52 years,
Master Sergeant USMC (retired) Jim; daughters Linda
(Kurt) Hallgren and Dr. Kristen Karlberg (Robert Skriloff),
and son Colonel E.J. (Melissa) Karlberg; grandchildren
Dan (Mely) Hallgren, Trina Hallgren, Sammie Hallgren,
Owen Skriloff, Theo Skriloff, Hansen Karlberg and Mila
Karlberg; and many other relatives and friends. She was
preceded in death by her parents, sisters Margi Guildner
and Judy Schacht, and special aunt Ethel Sondergaard
and close cousin Alta Mae (Bud) Madsen.
Much love to Angelina Brown for her constant support and
loving care of our wife and mother over the last couple of
years. We are eternally grateful for you!
A memorial service will be held on Saturday August 10th at the University of
Minnesota Landscape Arboretum, 3675 Arboretum Drive,
Chaska, MN 55318. Service at 2:00, family available 1-5 PM.
The obituary is online and memories can be recorded at
Pleasant Manor Funeral Home, Inc.
Donations/remembrances in Mary’s name to the Women’s
Alzheimer’s Movement, 11440 San Vicente Boulevard,
Suite 301, Los Angeles, CA 90049 or
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