Kaaren Grimstad

Obituary of Kaaren Grimstad

Kaaren Esther Grimstad age 80 of St. Paul died peacefully in her sleep on April 6, 2022. Kaaren was born in Milwaukee, WI to James and Elsie (Koch) Grimstad, who preceded her in death. She is survived by her life companion, Fred Franklin of Cambridge, MA and St. Paul; brother, Jim Grimstad of Bonita Springs, FL; sisters, Mary Mercer of Ft. Myers, FL, and Kirsten Grimstad of Pacific Palisades, CA; also 5 nieces and nephews, and 9 grandnieces and nephews. After receiving her doctorate from Harvard University, Kaaren joined the faculty of the University of Minnesota Scandinavian Department in 1972, where she served as professor of Old Norse languages and literature, Icelandic sagas, and Scandinavian mythology throughout her long career. Her books, Elucidarius in Old Norse Translation and a bilingual edition of Volsunga Saga, stand out as major achievements in the field. Kaaren retired in 2013 with the distinction of professor emerita. Kaaren's love for music permeated her life; she and Fred enjoyed listening to and performing early music, as well as attending performances of Wagner's Ring Cycle in Seattle. Her gift for friendship and mentorship as well as her wry wit, her boundless sense of humor and infectious smile make her death keenly felt by her family, friends, colleagues, students, and all who knew her.
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