Cleo Joyce Kohn, 82, formerly of Barrett and Fergus Falls

Published 9:57am Wednesday, December 12, 2012 Updated 12:01pm Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Cleo Kohn, died peacefully Friday, Dec. 7, 2012, at Southview Acres Health Center in St. Paul.

Cleo was born on Oct. 9, 1930, in Lien Township in Grant County, the youngest child of Wilhelmina and Andrew Kohn. Her parents both died when she was a young child so was raised by her aunt and uncle, Peter and Catharine Kohn of Barrett.

Cleo graduated from Elbow Lake High School with the Class of 1948 and continued with her education to receive a teacher’s certificate from Moorhead State Teachers College in 1950.

She began her teaching career in Brooten, where she taught the fourth grade and also was the elementary principal.

Over the next years she held teaching positions in Litchfield, Appleton and Breckenridge. She returned to studies in 1964-65 to receive her bachelor of science degree from the University of Minnesota, Morris.

She received a master’s degree in library sciences from Moorhead State University. She was very proud of her move from classroom teacher to the Fergus Falls ISD 544 Elementary Librarian.

From 1968 until her retirement in1993, she had the opportunity to touch the lives of every elementary student in Fergus Falls through the library.

Cleo was an active member of First Lutheran church of Fergus Falls and carried her love of God beyond the church doors.

She was a dedicated care-giver to her aging aunt and uncle and never missed a night of reading the Bible. She loved collecting stories and quips on topics of faith and trust. She compiled a booklet titled “A Decade of Sermon Notes,” in 1991 that is a delight to read.

Much of Cleo’s free time was spent cheering for the Minnesota Twins, lunching with friends and knitting. Nearly everyone she knew received a beautiful hand-knit afghan — she kept track of each one and they numbered more than 70. She had an uncanny ability to spot four-leaf clovers and shared the luck with others. She was a Scrabble pro and was always ready for a game.

As the anguish of Alzheimer’s disease overtook Cleo, her ability to knit and watch TV diminished, leaving her to delight in a game of balloon toss or in the joy of a good bowl of ice cream.

Throughout her long struggle with the disease she remained cooperative and would light up at the fun teasing of her caregivers.

Cleo was preceded in death by her parents; special aunts and uncles; three brothers; and one sister.

She will be greatly missed by her nieces, nephews, great-nieces and nephews and her wonderful extended family at Southview Acres.

Visitation: Sunday two hours prior to the service at the funeral home

Service: 12:30 p.m. Sunday, at Glende-Nilson Funeral Home, Fergus Falls

Clergy: Rev. Saul Stensvaag

Burial: Peace Lutheran Cemetery, Barrett

Funeral Home: Glende-Nilson Funeral Home, Fergus Falls


Condolences: may be sent online at

Editor's Picks

Hop into spring with egg hunt and Garden Day [UPDATED]

Thinking spring? It might be hard after temps dipped into the 20s this week, but to move things in that direction, check out the Garden ... Read more

Hillcrest seniors off to Dominican Republic for mission trip

Twenty Hillcrest Lutheran Academy seniors are set to leave the comforts of home to befriend strangers in a third-world country. It’s scary, intimidating and completely ... Read more

$1.1 million grant to provide early childhood education

A recent federal grant to the Mahube-Otwa Partnership will help provide more access to early childhood education to low-income or single-parent families. Mahube, which serves ... Read more

Police cite 4 with trespassing near Regional Treatment Center [UPDATED]

Two Fergus Falls men, one Fergus woman and one Duluth man trespassed and reportedly set off an alarm at the remodeled apartments in Patterson Loop ... Read more