- About Us
Clarice Christianson Falk was born in Aberdeen, South Dakota, and grew up in Underwood, Minnesota. She loved school and graduated valedictorian of her class. Living through the Depression was one of the defining features of her life. Her good-hearted father owned the town's grocery store in which she worked, and found it hard to collect what was owed to him. She earned her way through the two year teacher's training at Moorhead State and became a supervisor of student teachers in the MS training school, Gunderson School near Moorhead. One day, in walked Charles Christianson, Co. Supt. of Roseau County, as part of a delegation that had come to observe her class. She moved to Roseau, taught at the Swift School and married Charles in 1941. With Charles, she raised five children (Coralie, Rachel, Brian, Sara and William), coaching them through their 4-H endeavors, musical training, and school pursuits. After Charles died, she married Helmer Falk, and helped raise his daughter Cindy.
When the children were old enough, she resumed teaching Grade Two at the Roseau School, and through summer school at Moorhead State completed her four year degree. She finished out a long career at the school as the district’s Planning, Reporting and Evaluation (PER) coordinator at the age of 81.
In 2013, Kelly was awarded the Minnesota Senior Citizen Volunteer Award based on a lifetime of service to the community: teaching grade two at the Roseau School, as a consultant for the Malung, Roseau and Wannaska Schools, Director of State-mandated programs beginning with Right to Read. She served as first woman president of the local Teachers' Association and as a board member of the Northern Division of the MEA.
She was a longtime member of the Roseau Garden Club, a county fair exhibitor, a supporter of the 4-H Club, participated in city beautification and worked at the spring plant sale. When The Roseau Friends of the Library was organized, Valborg Tweet and she were the co-chairwomen. She was a member of the first Roseau Book Club, obtained training sessions by the Great Books organization for volunteers to be discussion leaders, and has helped with the production of the Regional Ramblings for local authors and artists since its inception.
She was active in and an officer for the American Legion Auxiliary, Sons of Norway and the Alpha Xi chapter of Delta Kappa Gamma. She was a member of the Messiah Lutheran Church, sang in the choir, quilted for missions, led the Cradle Roll program, served as local president and was on the board of the NW board of Women of the ELCA. She sang in the American legion Auxiliary Trio that won first place in the state contest. Unforgettable was her comedy act “Hildegaard,” performed at 40 different locations in Roseau County, around Minnesota and in Canada.
Although the Senior Citizen Volunteer Award perhaps delighted her most, she was awarded many others in her lifetime: Minnesota Teacher of Excellence (1973), the Governor’s Certificate of Commendation (1989), the Minnesota State Horticulture Society (state) Gold Medal Award (1997), Roseau Teachers Association Friend of Education Award (1998) and, with Charles, the Roseau School Hall of Fame Award.
When she moved into Oak Crest Senior Housing at the age of 96, she organized and accompanied on piano a resident choir of 18 women they dubbed the Melodears which has been giving regular community concerts at Oak Crest.
Kelly was predeceased by her parents, Gerhard and Cora Haukebo, her son Brian, and all but one of her 8 siblings: Norma (Delbert) Rubink, Grace (Carl) Landin, Marian (Max) Powers, Cathy, Frances (Dewey) Bergquist, Dr. Gerry (Doris) Haukebo, Dr. Noel (Jennifer) Haukebo . Surviving are her sister Lois (Dr. Wayne) Swenson, children Coralie Bryant, Rachel Hunter, Sara Breedlove and Bill Christianson, grandchildren Ben, Jessica, Cristiana, Aaron, Jakob, Fiona, Abby, and great grandchildren Ethan, Kayla, Zoe, Charles, Jane, Leif, Henry, Cora and Findlay.
The family would like to thank Dr. Brummer and the staff at the Roseau Manor. Donations may be made to the Roseau Friends of the Library or to Messiah Lutheran Church. A service for Kelly to which all are invited will be held later in the spring.