Gloria Klassen (Paulson)
Gloria Marie Klassen
Gloria Marie (Paulson) Klassen was the first child of Garfield and Olive (Gillie) Paulson, born on August 29, 1934 at her grandparents’ home in Jackson, Minnesota. Her childhood was spent on the family farm in Bergen, helping her mother care for her seven siblings and treasuring her time at Hauges Lutheran Church. She attended area country schools and graduated from Jackson High School in 1952.
Gloria studied elementary education at Mankato State College, where she met her future husband for the second time—the first during childhood, when Dick, 10, gave Bergen children, including Gloria, 7, rides on his homemade go-kart. This was an event they joked about as being their unwitting first date. Dick and Gloria wed in 1954 at Bethany Lutheran Church in Bergen and were married for more than 63 years.
After graduating, Gloria went on to inspire countless young minds as an educator. One year teaching first-grade in Westbrook, Minn., began a 30-year career as a teacher and director at St. Mark’s Preschool in North Saint Paul. The love and talent she had for children was known by so many.
Between 1956 and 1965, Gloria and Dick had five daughters: Jane Marie, Becky Lynn, Ellen Kay, Amy Louise and Susan Carole. Her family was her greatest joy. Her daughters, sons-in-law, grandchildren and great-grandchild felt her unconditional loving kindness until her final breath.
The Holy Spirit lived in Gloria and shone through with the gentle, warm and steadfast glow of God's love. She felt God’s call to serve at Cross Lutheran Church, whether it be in the kitchen, classroom, meeting rooms or Sanctuary. She was a willing and devoted member for more than 50 years.
Gloria loved singing hymns, tending to her garden and cooking for her family. She was an avid reader, and enjoyed many travels throughout her life—including camping, Elder Hostel trips with Dick, a visit to Norway with her mother and siblings, and 25 years of family trips to Alexandria.
On June 10, 2018, Gloria peacefully joined her Lord and Savior with her family by her side, as her pastor of 28 years read the Lord’s Prayer. She was an unfeigned and humble example to her family and others of how to live a life as Christ would live. She will truly be missed.
Obituary as it appeared in the paper:
Beloved Child of God
Gloria, 83 of North Saint Paul, peacefully joined her Lord and Savior on June 10, 2018 at Waverly Gardens with her family by her side. Gloria was a cherished daughter, mother, wife, Grammy, aunt, sister and friend. She touched the lives of countless people with her faith, kindness, patience and generosity. For more than 50 years, she was an active and devoted member of Cross Lutheran Church. Gloria had a passion for inspiring young children to learn and was a beloved preschool teacher at St. Mark’s Lutheran Church for 30 years. The family wishes to thank the kind staff at The Shores of Lake Phalen, Waverly Gardens and HealthPartners Hospice who cared for her and her husband, Dick. Preceded in death by her parents, Garfield and Olive Paulson; her parents-in-law, Arnold and Hilda Klassen; and her sister-in-law, Mary Beth Paulson. Survived by her husband of 63 years, Dick; daughters Jane Miller (Chuck), Becky Klassen (Buck), Ellen Slater (Steve), Amy Opatz (Tom) and Susan Hadrits (Karl); grandchildren Leah (Brian), Emily (Luke), Kyle, Maria, Haley, Abby, Ty and Maren; great-grandson Bennett; siblings Carole Hansen (Lowell), Garner Paulson (Norma), Janet Hunter (Wayne), Curtis Paulson (Myra), David Paulson, Dianne McDaniel (Wally) and Douglas Paulson; many nieces, nephews and friends.
FUNERAL SERVICE Thursday, June 21 at 11:00 a.m. at Cross Lutheran Church, 1945 Prosperity Road, Maplewood. BURIAL Evergreen Memorial Gardens. VISITATION Wednesday, June 20 from 5:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. at Waverly Gardens, 5919 Centerville Road, North Oaks (use door E), and one hour prior to the service at church on Thursday.
The family welcomes memorials in Gloria’s name to Cross Lutheran Church online or by mail.