Linda M. (Juhnke) Keilen, age 70, of Faribault, MN, passed away peacefully and holding her daughter’s hand on January 2, 2022, at United Hospital in St. Paul, MN.
Linda Marie was born on October 29, 1951, to William L. and Dorothy (Jarvis) Juhnke. She attended Faribault High School and graduated with the class of 1969. During high school she worked as a nursing assistant at St. Lucas and Pleasant Manor nursing homes. She was an accomplished trumpet player in high school and had a love of music. After graduation, Linda attended the Minnesota Medical Institute and graduated in 1970 with a medical lab tech degree. After receiving her medical degree, she worked in the offices of Dr. Studer and Dr. Gutzmann. She married John Keilen on September 7, 1974 at St. Lawrence Catholic Church in Faribault. After her medical career, Linda became a day care provider in her home.
Throughout her life, Linda lived vicariously through her children. Given her passion for music, she enjoyed attending her daughter’s band and orchestra concerts and recitals. She also loved rooting for her son at Taekwondo tournaments and high school wrestling matches. She and her husband, John regularly visited flea markets, antique stores and local casinos. Linda was an expert shopper and over her lifetime, she logged hundreds of miles at Red Wing Pottery, TJ Maxx, the Burnsville Mall, and Wal-Mart. She loved to shop for clothing and jewelry, and over the years, she also collected American Fostoria, Precious Moments, angels, and picture frames. She loved decorating and re-decorating her home. She often listened to her favorite music (Josh Groban, Kenny Rogers, and James Galway, to name a few).
In her retirement years, Linda adored her two grandchildren and being a doting grandma (or “gama”). She loved watching her grandson on Saturday afternoons when he was a baby and toddler and eventually her granddaughter who was born in 2018. Upon learning how to take photos, make videos, and send text messages with her iPhone, Linda was notorious for sending numerous photos and video clips of her playing with her granddaughter.
The family would like to thank the doctors and nurses at District One Hospital and United Hospital for the loving care they provided to Linda and for the compassion extended to her immediate family while Linda was in their care. The family extends a special thank you to Linda’s niece, Kristina Nowak, who worked as the charge nurse on Linda’s floor the evening she was airlifted to United Hospital. Kristina comforted Linda and held her hand after a period of isolation from family and other visitors due to Covid-19 precautions.
Linda is survived by her husband of 47 years, John Keilen; her children, Camie (Brent Kieke) Keilen, and Joshua (Kristin) Keilen; two grandchildren Caleb Kieke and Harper Keilen; her sister, Carolyn (Jim) Nowak; her aunt, Sandra Jarvis; and numerous sisters- and brothers-in-law, nieces, nephews, and cousins. She is also survived by her dear, lifelong friend, Tovah Sellner.
She was preceded in death by her parents, William and Dorothy; father-in-law and mother-in-law, Leo and Elsie Keilen; brother-in-law and sister-in-law, Clifford and Lucille Erickson; brother-in-law, Frank Simek; and niece, Carrie Keilen.
Memorial services will be held on Saturday, January 15, 2022, at 11:00 a.m. at the Parker Kohl Funeral Home, 1725 Lyndale Ave. N., Faribault, with Bernadette Tatge, pastoral minister of Divine Mercy Catholic Church, officiating. For those unable to attend, you may watch the livestream of the service through a link on Linda’s obituary page.
Visitation will be held on Saturday from 10:00 – 11:00 a.m. at the funeral home.
The family prefers that memorials be designated to the American Diabetes Association in memory of Linda.