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Obituary for Julie Anne Klassen

Julie Anne Klassen, age 74, of Northfield, passed away peacefully with family at her side on Saturday, January 13, 2018, at Northfield Hospital. Julie was born May 17, 1943, in Nederland, Colorado, the daughter of Donald and Margaret Grover. When Julie was six the family moved to Glendale, California, where she graduated from Glendale High School in 1961. She received her Bachelor of Arts degree in German from the University of California – Santa Barbara and received her Masters and Ph.D. in German Literature from Stanford University. Julie moved to Northfield in 1968. She spent two years as assistant Professor […]

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Julie Anne Klassen, age 74, of Northfield, passed away peacefully with family at her side on Saturday, January 13, 2018, at Northfield Hospital.

Julie was born May 17, 1943, in Nederland, Colorado, the daughter of Donald and Margaret Grover. When Julie was six the family moved to Glendale, California, where she graduated from Glendale High School in 1961. She received her Bachelor of Arts degree in German from the University of California – Santa Barbara and received her Masters and Ph.D. in German Literature from Stanford University.

Julie moved to Northfield in 1968. She spent two years as assistant Professor of German at St. Olaf College and seven fulfilling years working at the Northfield Daycare Centre, before joining Carleton College in 1978. Julie retired in 2009 as a tenured Professor of German Studies.

Julie married Hanno Klassen on August 6, 1971. The couple made their homes in Northfield and the idyllic island of Manitoulin, Ontario. Hanno died December 2, 2004. Julie met Will Kershaw in 2012. Their loving companionship, travels, and adventures in nature enriched them both in the last six years of Julie’s life.

Julie was a lifelong student, startlingly intelligent, a wonderful storyteller, a loyal and generous friend. She loved literature and culture, natural history, bird watching, and cooking. Her professional passions were teaching German and environmental studies, and accompanying her students to Germany.

Julie is survived by her partner Will Kershaw, her stepson Christopher (Amanda) Klassen of Kaslo, British Columbia; stepdaughter Renata Klassen of Kaslo; and two brothers: Philip (Susan) Grover of Concord, CA, and Scott (Cecilia) Grover of Walnut, CA. She was predeceased by her husband and her parents.

Memorial service will be held at Skinner Memorial Chapel on April 14, 2018, at 2:00 pm. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Minnesota Land Trust or a favorite environmental organization. Arrangements by Bierman Funeral Home. biermanfuneralhome.com

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Visitation

2:00 PM - April 14, 2018 -


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2 Comments

  1. Erwin Thompson

    On behalf of the Elizabeth Bay United Church of Canada on Manitoulin Island may I extend to Julie’s family our deepest sympathies and prayers. Julie was a welcome visitor who on occasion played the organ. I remember one Sunday when Joachim Heintz from Germany had 40 Kiwanis members visiting his summer home and Joachim and I did a church service for them with Julie playing the organ. She truly enjoyed the many friends she made here and they in turn enjoyed her. With many warm memories of a wonderful woman. Retired Pastor Erwin Thompson

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  2. Beth Westerback

    The staff and board at the Minnesota Land Trust were very sad to hear of Julie’s passing. Julie was a steadfast supporter of conservation in Minnesota and a longtime friend to the land trust. Julie and Hanno were one of the first landowners to protect their land with a conservation easement back in 1998. Julie cared deeply for the property, a beautiful remnant patch of big woods forest outside of Dundas. Her dedicated stewardship of her land and leadership in the Friends of the Cannon River Wilderness Area were integral in protecting a unique and important corridor of land along the Cannon River. Julie was a fixture at land trust gatherings over the years and gladly shared the story of the land trust with her friends and colleagues in Northfield. Her love and eagerness to share the spring wildflowers, birds, and wildlife on the property with staff and volunteers will be remembered fondly. We are deeply appreciative of the chance to know Julie for nearly 20 years and offer our heartfelt condolences to her family.

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