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Carmen Kay Howell, 64

Carmen Kay Howell, 64, of Detroit Lakes, Minnesota, died Tuesday, Feb. 4, 2020, surrounded by her daughters and husband. She fought a courageous battle with cancer.

Carmen Kay Howell, 64

Carmen Carlson was born Nov. 10, 1955, in Bertha, Minnesota, to Donald and Florence (Eisenbraun) Carlson. She graduated from Clarissa High School in 1973, attended Moorhead State University, and graduated from North Dakota State University in 1978 with a degree in home economics. Carmen met Greg Jerlow during their time at MSU; they married on June 10, 1978. Carmen worked with an insurance office for a brief time before joining her husband for a long career in education at Kindred High School. Carmen taught home economics for 11 years before stepping into the counselor role at KHS for 20 years after obtaining her Masters in counseling from NDSU. Carmen and Greg lovingly raised their family in Kindred, North Dakota, and the community was a bigger family for both of them. Following Greg’s passing from cancer in 2001, Carmen was lucky to find love again and married Joe Howell on June 29, 2007. Upon retirement, they found a little piece of heaven on Little Floyd Lake in Detroit Lakes.

Carmen was truly a loving, passionate, nurturing woman who gave the best hugs and had a talent for making others feel important with her kindness and warm generosity. With one look, hug, or question, she had the gift of connecting with people on a deep and sincere level. Carmen was very involved in her communities, loved her friends, engaged her faith family, and nurtured so many with her gardening and cooking talents. She was a dedicated educator and loved serving her community through her work on the Park Board, Library Board and the Booster Club. Carmen was a faith-filled woman and found joy singing with the Kindred Lutheran Church Choir, teaching Sunday school, and enjoying her quiet peace with God floating in the lake catching sunfish. Despite many adversities, she taught us how to live and love life. She loved to have fun, dance, and laugh, especially when she beat someone, specifically Joe, in cards. Carmen loved her ladies, whether she was having a glass of wine, discussing a good book, quilting beautiful works of art, or sharing her favorite new recipe. She was the best daughter, mom, wife, sister, aunt, grandma and friend. Her family was her very soul, especially her grandkids. She cherished gardening with her mother and passing that knowledge onto her grandkids, teaching them about magic peas and beautiful pink flowers. Spending countless hours in the bleachers cheering on her daughters or taking time to listen to their worries on the kitchen floor was where Carmen’s beauty shined. Carmen demonstrated her love for others with food; there were many teacher’s lounges, church potlucks, and holiday gatherings that benefited from her gifts.

She is survived by her husband, Joe, Detroit Lakes; daughters, Katie (Jason, Ava and Olivia) Baskin, Austin, Minnesota, and Paige (Michael) Barbero, Boise, Idaho; brother, Vic (Peggy) Carlson, Browerville, Minnesota; sister in-law, Rhonda (Joel, Jessi, Nick and Zac Akers) Young, Dilworth, Minnesota; stepchildren, Matt (Casey, Tierney and Sutton) Howell, West Fargo, North Dakota, and Chris (Amy, Nora) Howell, Mapleton, North Dakota; and special nieces, Jennifer (Brian, Parker and Emily) Tjaden, Hawley, Minnesota, and Jerene (Jason, Mallorie and Karisa) Redfield, West Fargo, North Dakota. She was preceded in death by her husband, Greg Jerlow; daughter, Leah Jerlow; and parents, Donald and Florence Carlson.

A funeral service will be held at 11 a.m. on Saturday, Feb. 8, 2020, at Kindred Lutheran Church in Kindred. Visitation will be from 5-7 p.m., with a prayer service at 7 p.m., on Friday, Feb. 7, 2020, at Kindred Lutheran Church. Arrangements have been entrusted to the care of Fredrikson-Boulger Funeral Chapel in Kindred. An online guestbook can be viewed at www.boulgerfuneralhome.com.