Karen Klingberg Busselman, age 72 of Prior Lake, died peacefully at her home on July 11th, 2020 surrounded by her beloved family. Visitation will be Thursday, July 16th from 4-7 at Ballard-Sunder funeral and Cremation, Prior Lake. Celebration of Life service will be Friday, July 17th at 11am with visitation from 10-11am at St. Paul’s Lutheran Church, Prior Lake. Private interment. Face masks and social distancing are required. Friends can watch the funeral service live stream by going to the church’s facebook page or the local Faith Channel (MediaCom83 and Integra 14). Reverend John P. Vaughn and Reverend Greg DeMuth will co-preside. Pall bearers will be David Busselman, Paul Busselman, Ken Klingberg, Al Lentner, Mark Schroeder, and Ronnie Olson. Honorary Pall bearers will be Wayne Konga, Jim Stark, John Girtman, Rob Engel, and Les Bauer. Memorials preferred in Karen’s name, and will be further distributed by the family.
Karen Klingberg Busselman was born on September 10, 1947 to parents Harvey and Luverne (Busse) Klingberg. Being the oldest of five siblings (Ken, Kathy, Connie and Carol), she was always a caregiver to them as they grew up in Prior Lake, where Karen remained a life-long citizen of a town she truly loved. Family was a common thread throughout Karen’s life. When it came to her brothers and sisters she was never far. Whether talking over the phone, or through their many casual get togethers, their love for each other and ability to enjoy each other’s company was always clear. As a child, Karen and her family relished their many trips to Big Pine Lake in Perham, MN, where they enjoyed the lake life. This is where she found her life-long love of the water. As she got older, her and her friends would love to go to the New Prague ballroom where they would enjoy dancing, and just plain having a good time.
Following graduation from Prior Lake high school, she ventured off to Mankato State College and received her teaching degree, being proud to be the first in her family to earn a college degree. Later, she received her master’s degree. She wasn’t always in the library studying, as she found time for extra curricular activities which included going to a party where she saw Bob Dylan playing music on the living room couch of someone’s home. She was also one of the fortunate ones to see the Beatles perform live.
Following graduation, she moved back to Prior Lake where she took notice in a cute young teacher and Coach named Mr. Busselman. Kathy, who had Mr. Busselman as her 9th grade math teacher, helped bridge the gap between the two. Long story short, Kathy’s struggles with math somehow ended up with him meeting older sister Karen. This “chance” encounter lead to a conversation, which lead to an invitation to a football game that Friday. When that game was canceled because of weather, Karen persevered, showing up at Darwin’s doorstep in her canary yellow rain slicker saying I thought there was supposed to be a game? He invited her in and they had their first date the very next day…. Three years later they were married on July 28, 1973 at St Paul’s Lutheran Church in Prior Lake. Life was good.
Karen and Darwin were excited to build their own family and soon welcomed newborn twins, Jon Mychal and Jenni Lynn, into the world. In a defining moment in Karen and Darwin’s life, the twins were taken to soon at nine and eleven days of age. Dying of complications due to being born premature. This was very trying times for Karen and Darwin, but through the struggle they formed a stronger bond. From this resolve, they moved forward and were blessed with three other beautiful children, Jes, David, and Paul. From losing her first two babies, Karen learned that life is precious, and that time is best spent living through love. She became the heart and guardian of her family, something that remained throughout her life, and will continue forever.
As a family, they were always on the move. Both being teachers with summers off, they took the family on a yearly Busselman family vacation with destinations ranging from sea to shining sea, seeing the 48 contiguous states by the time the kids were in high school. Whether it was enjoying the Klingberg family cabin at Amelia Lake in Villard, MN., boating on Prior Lake, laying out on a beach, or swimming in the pool in her backyard, Karen loved the water and the sun. And she could prove it with her famous bronze tan! During this same time, Karen learned to love watching her kids compete in sports and did so all the way through their college years. She, also became the “baseball mom” to many, as the Lakers baseball team, coached by Darwin, embarked on their annual spring break trips to Florida.
Karen spent 35 years as an elementary education teacher touching countless young lives. After four years at St. Paul’s Lutheran school in Prior Lake and the next 31 in Edina, she retired from a profession she truly loved. She was able to retire at an early age and focus on one of her passions – traveling. It was always a running joke with friends and family to try and keep track of where Karen and Darwin were because no matter the time of year, they always had a vacation coming up. Unless of course, this overlapped her greater passion – being with her grandkids. They took front and center and Karen’s mission was to instill love and spend time with them by reading books, spoiling them with toys, and making sure they had everything they needed. She will continue to watch over them as her children pass on lessons in life and love taught to them by their mother.
In her free time, Karen enjoyed watching game shows, gardening, and watching the birds. She enjoyed her monthly Edina book club and her and Darwin’s monthly 500 card club with good friends. She loved dinners with family, everything about Christmas, May Day basket deliveries, Andy Williams music, and always made sure to sing Happy Birthday to her family members on their birthday. We will miss this beautiful, vibrant, and thoughtful woman who brightened every room, and could make you smile with her infectious laugh.
Survived by loving husband, Darwin “Buff” Busselman; children, Jes Busselman, David (Jenni) Busselman, Paul (Becky) Busselman; grandchildren, Brody, Bo, Billy; siblings, Ken (Debbie) Klingberg, Kathy (Al) Lentner, Connie James, Carol (Dan) Rosenfeld.
Karen will be reunited in heaven with her infant twins, Jon Mychal and Jenni Lynn and her parents, Harvey and Luverne (Busse) Klingberg.
Ballard-Sunder Funeral and Cremation have been honored to care for Karen and her family.
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