By Scott Carlson

Farewell Carla Kjellberg

It is often said life is very fragile.

You can be here one moment, alive and vibrant, and the next moment gone, snatched by the clutches of death.

It’s a mystery why or how some people are blessed with decades of life, stretching into their 80s and beyond and others succumb when they are teenagers or even younger, barely starting out on the road of life.

And then there are those people, like Carla Kjellberg, who I suspect are somewhere in the middle. Blessed with many years but still seemingly expecting many more years of life.

On Aug. 28 of this year, Carla died from a sudden heart attack. She was 65 years old, still young enough in today’s society to hope for many more years.

We offer our condolences to Carla’s family and friends at her passing. Carla was a woman who wore many hats: family law attorney, political activist, beloved spouse, mother and friend.

At the Bugle, we knew Carla as one of our regular and faithful advertisers. Her ongoing support meant a lot to us.

Carla’s support of the Bugle was part of her broader belief in a free press. She also was a big supporter for many years of the Minnesota Women’s Press.

At the Women’s Press, Carla was known “as a familiar face in our magazine and website, advertising her law practice since 2002.”

Close to home, the Women’s Press noted Carla had a big impact on her family and many friends. Carla’s daughter Jeanne Stuart noted, “Carla made the world beautiful. We will carry her forward the best way we know how: by making abundance, speaking the truth and loving each other fiercely. And fighting fascism.”

In Women Press circles, Carla was known for her activism and commitment to social justice. Here are a couple tributes that the Women’s Press posted:

Kari Moe, a former chief of staff for U.S. Rep. Keith Ellison: “Carla lived every day full of love and determination to work for justice. She inspired me. I met her in 2007 when I started working with (Minnesota Attorney General) Keith Ellison and we became fast friends.

“While hanging out with Carla at her jewelry booth at the Powderhorn Art Fair, I saw her many dimensions. I told Carla I wished that I could make necklaces as interesting as she did; I wished I could give a fundraising pitch as persuasively as she did; I wished I could name hypocrisy as clearly as she did; I wished I could wear colors as boldly as she did.”

Becky Rothmeier, a longtime progressive organizer: “Carla was a thoughtful and generous leader. Daily she was fearless about calling out racism, sexism and fascism, and refused to take a seat or stand aside no matter who insisted she quiet down.

“She was generous with her time, her home and her network and dedicated to electing progressive leaders fighting for change. Her example gave thousands of young and not-so-young people a foundation for responsible and active citizenship. Carla insisted we fight and keep fighting hard for what we want the world to be.”

Carla, who lived in Minneapolis, was preceded in death by parents, Jeanne Mowry and Lawrence Kjellberg. She is survived by husband, Dick Kaspari; daughter, Jeanne Stuart; bonus children, Emily and Jonathan Kaspari (Lani Hart); and grandsons, Jake and Ben.

A celebration of Carla’s life was held on Sept. 10, 2022, at St. Joan of Arc in Minneapolis. She is missed by many. 

Scott Carlson is managing editor of the Bugle.

Leave a Reply