William O. Kjarum, 88

Published 7:01 am Sunday, October 18, 2015



William “Bill” “Willy” O. Kjarum, 88, of Mankato, Minnesota, died peacefully on Wednesday, Oct. 14, 2015, at Ecumen Pathstone Living in Mankato.

William was born Oct. 12, 1927, to Selmer and Idella (Melos) Kjarum in Minneapolis, Minnesota. He attended the Hovland School, and graduated from Austin High School in Austin, Minnesota. On Dec. 14, 1951, William was united in marriage to Betty Hubbard in Austin.

He served in the US Army from 1953 to 1955. Following his time in the military, William went on to graduate from Mankato State College with degrees in accounting and industrial arts. He owned and operated Kjarum Accounting until the late 1970s, when he transitioned to general contracting and remodeling.

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William and Betty were members of First Presbyterian Church in Mankato and in April 1981, they recommitted their lives to Christ. Together they joined Bethel Baptist in April of 1998 and on May 31, 1998, and were baptized.

William was an active member of the Elks Club, and was also a Mason and Shriner. He volunteered for numerous organizations, including, but not limited to, the Salvation Army, Prison Ministry Outreach, Gideons, Fellowship of Christian Athletes and Kids Against Hunger programs. In 2000, the Key City Sertoma Club presented William with their Service to Mankind Award for Significant and Meritorious Service to Mankind.



He was the treasurer of the Mankato Golf Club for many years and a champion tournament golfer who possessed an elegant and classic swing. He was skilled at bowling, billiards, and won many, many games of cribbage and gin rummy.

William spent his formative years growing up in the north woods in the Hovland, Minnesota area. His heart remained there for the rest of his life, where he enjoyed spending time at the Kjarum family homestead with family and friends, being outdoors, building fires and spending time on the porch of the cabin he built listening to the creek. William cherished time spent with his family, especially his beloved grandchildren.

William moved to Pathstone on his 84th birthday where he was well loved and cared for by the incredible staff. Even with his dementia, he was known for his good nature, happy demeanor and photogenic good looks. He was in many ways their “poster guy” being in a local company’s advertising and featured in many places throughout Pathstone. Even in death, William is continuing to give by his decision to donate his body to the Mayo Clinic Bequest program in Rochester, Minnesota.

William is survived by his daughters: Melinda (Jon Peterson) Kjarum of rural North Mankato, Minnesota, and Sandra (Tim) Seidel of Bloomington, Indiana; beloved grandchildren: Catelin and Linzi Peterson, and Gabriel, Jillian, and Tierney Seidel; special Cairn Terrier, Jake; sister, Jean (Harold) Kamppi; sister-in-law, Harriet Kjarum; nephew, Jon Kjarum; and nieces, Cindy Kjarum, Roxanne Kjarum, Candace Kjarum Jackson, Suzi Hangge, Judi McMullen, Idell Kamppi Ward, and Gwen Kamppi Young.

William was preceded in death by his parents; wife, Betty in 2014; sister, June; brothers, Kenneth and Roy Kjarum; and Roy’s wife, Lucille Kjarum.

Memorial service will be at 10:30 a.m., on Saturday, Oct. 24, 2015, at Bethel Baptist Church with Rev. David Banfield officiating. Visitation will be one hour prior to the service at church. Mankato Mortuary is in charge of arrangements. In lieu of flowers, memorials are preferred to Bethel Baptist Church and the Fellowship of Christian Athletes.