Kari Larson: Our Own Changemaker

{photo by Sarah Whiting)

Kari Larson started with Minnesota Women’s Press as a college intern more than 25 years ago. She was so invaluable that, for decades, she stayed connected through ongoing and special projects. Out of her home in Plymouth, she was the person who saw to it that the magazine was distributed at women-focused events around the state. She managed additions to the database each month for the drivers who deliver the magazine to more than 500 distribution sites in the Twin Cities. She compiled our annual What Women Want survey results, and helped build the website stories.

Kari also was a personal trainer who knew exactly how to give great neck massages to those of us on laptops all day.

It was not her efficiency and reliability that made Kari so invaluable to us, however. It was her joyful personality. She was greeted with a big cheer whenever she joined us from our ‘west metro office’ for monthly meetings. Kari didn’t leave the main office until she had checkedin with each of us about how we were doing.

We are heartbroken by the sudden death of Kari on October 30, at the age of 59.

At her celebration of life on November 9, three generations of magazine teammates were there for a lovely recognition of how much Kari’s smile, personal investment in her coworkers, and humor meant to everyone who knew her. On hand as well: her well-used bike, cowboy boot keepsakes, favorite Brady Bunch quips, drumming circle mates, and large Swedish family, including her dapper 95-year-old father.

In the March 2019 issue, we quoted teammates in the Editor’s Letter about the foundations of their feminism. Kari noted that both she and her brother   had dolls and trucks, and “did activities based on our skills and interests, not on what our gender was. When my mom assigned us our chores, she did not assign them based on our gender. So I was taught that both genders were capable of doing many things and should be treated equally. As I got older, I noticed my dad had a much less strict attitude toward my brother with curfews and freedoms, and more restricting attitude toward me. I pointed out to him that if men were stricter with their boys, they wouldn’t have to worry as much about their girls.”

Kari’s compassion and passion fueled her dedication to the work and mission and people of Minnesota Women’s Press. She will remain in our thoughts always.