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Karl Hillar KiisaDecember 13, 1927 ~ June 7, 2017 (age 89)
Karl Hillar Kiisa was born December 13, 1927 to Karl Johannes and Wilhelmiine Kiisa in Rakvere, Estonia. The family later moved to Tartu, Estonia, where Karl spent his childhood and began his schooling. In 1944 at the age of 16, he was drafted into the auxillary units of the German Air force. When this service ended, he was unable to return to war-torn Estonia. He fought to survive in various camps throughout Germany as a displaced person. In 1949, the United States opened their arms to these Estonian refugees. In 1950, Karl was granted a sponsorship which brought him to Colton, South Dakota and then to Sioux Falls, South Dakota. While in Sioux Falls, he was welcomed into the home of Dr. and Mrs. John Froemke who became his American family. In 1953, Karl was drafted into the US Army and served until November of 1955. Upon discharge, he enrolled in the School of Business at the University of South Dakota, earning a Bachelor of Science degree in 1960. He worked as a Chartered Financial Analyst at Northwestern National Bank in Minneapolis from 1960 to 1990, when he retired from the then called Norwest Bank as a Vice President and Portfolio Manager.
While employed at the bank, Karl met and married Sherry Anderson. Together, they had two children whom they raised in Burnsville, MN. In 1991, after Karl retired, the couple moved to Walker, MN, where they have remained. Karl was an avid reader, a lover of music, an expert gardener, and a devoted family man. He was very active in the Walker Lions and was awarded both the Helen Keller Sight Award for his service, as well as the highest Lions honor of the Melvin Jones Award for dedicated humanitarian services to the Lions International Organization. He was also a dedicated member of Hope Lutheran Church, where he served as treasurer. He will be remembered in his community for his friendly smile, willingness to help, and his gentle spirit.
Karl is survived by his wife, Sherry, of Walker; son, Mark Kiisa, of Bemidji; daughter, Kristin (John) Loney of Walker; niece, Laivi (Margus) Kolsar and family of Tartu, Estonia; grandchildren, Evan, Adam, and Kaia of Walker; brothers- and sisters-in-law; nieces and nephews.
He was preceded in death by his parents, Karl Johannes and Wilhelmine; brother, Kaljo Kiisa; sister-in-law, Linda; nephew, Aivar; and his American family, Dr. John and Mary Froemke.
A memorial service will be held Friday, June 16, 2017 at 1:00 p.m. at Hope Lutheran Church, officiated by Reverend Matt McWaters. Friends and family are invited to gather prior to the service, beginning at 12:00 p.m. Private inurnment will follow at a later date. Arrangements are being provided by Midwest Cremation Association of Walker (www.midwestcremationassociation.com).
St. Joseph's Hospice
600 Pleasant Avenue, Park Rapids MN 56470
Hope Lutheran Church
PO Box 506, Walker MN 56484