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home : obituaries : obituaries
October 26, 2020

10/16/2020 11:33:00 AM
Carolyn Engstrand

Carolyn Elizabeth (Hall) Engstrand, age 91, of Bloomington, MN, formerly of Rhinelander, WI passed peacefully into God’s presence on September 21, 2020 after a short but well fought battle with pancreatic cancer.

Carolyn was born on March 5, 1929, in Center City, Minnesota to Wilhelm (Bill) Hall and Estelle (Johnson) Hall. Her early years were spent on a dairy farm, but later the family moved “to town” (Lindstrom, MN), where her father owned and operated the Chisago Lakes Dairy. Throughout her growing up she was surrounded by a large and close knit family and a multitude of friends, a lifestyle she managed to replicate for herself throughout her long life. After high school she attended Winona State Teachers College for two years, after which she accepted a teaching position in Stillwater, MN.

In 1950 Carolyn married Darwin Engstrand, the son of her parents’ best friends, the boy she first kissed when only five years old. The couple raised three sons, establishing homes alternately in Minnesota and Wisconsin as Darwin’s work demanded and finally settling in Bloomington, MN, where she lived until her death.

At age 50 she completed her four year degree at the University of Minnesota and continuing her career as a Special Education tutor for Bloomington Public Schools. In 1968 Carolyn and Darwin purchased what became Engstrand’s Idlewood Resort in Rhinelander, WI, which they operated together until Darwin’s death in 1985. Her warm and welcoming personality was a perfect fit for the resort, and many life-long friendships began during those years. Active church member, godmother, world traveler, expert pie baker, devoted Swede, card player, best seller reader, Aunt Carolyn, swimming class enthusiast, music club member, Kell Avenue neighbor, and dear friend were some of the many hats she loved to wear. But no one could dispute that being Farmor (Swedish for father’s mother) was her favorite role of all.

Beloved grandmother to Peter (Caitlin), Bekah (Martin Raabe), Signe, Cole, Are, Olivia, Leif and Simon, Farmor was an active part of each of her grandchildren’s lives. She was the glue that held the strong and diverse personalities of her family together, relationships made stronger by the many summer days spent at Idlewood, once the resort was no longer a resort, and by the family trips she orchestrated to Alaska, Nova Scotia and New England, Sweden and Cuba. Not one to ever pass up an invitation, she maintained a busy social calendar in Bloomington, Rhinelander, and in Florida, where she had spent several months each winter for the past 20 years.

She was preceded in death by her parents and Darwin, her husband of 35 years, and her brother Jerome.

She is survived by sons Daniel (Corinne), Bradley (Abigail) and Jon (Michelle); her eight grandchildren; her brothers David (Sandy) and Kent (Bev Minn); her “cherished friend” Bill Sjolund; her “adopted son” Ebrahim (Julie) Salamzadeh and their children Neda, David and Thomas; and by a multitude of relatives and friends, each very dear to her.

Services were held at Bethlehem Lutheran Church. Memorials preferred to St. Stephen Lutheran Church of Bloomington, Immanuel Lutheran Church of Rhinelander, Heifer International, or donor’s choice.

Gill Brothers 612-861-6088

www.gillbrothers.com handled arrangements.



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