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Stephanie A. Henriksen 1941-2015

Jan 12, 2016

NORTHFIELD, MN –Stephanie Ann Henriksen died on Dec. 15, 2015. Antibiotic side effects accentuated her Diabetes and that caught up with her.

She was born April 15, 1941 in Emmetsburg, to Elfredo and Ervin Henriksen. Her family was soon split as Ervin headed for Okinawa to fight the Japanese in WWII. When he returned, the family moved to the farm in Ringsted. The next eight years were spent on the farm where Stef gained her love for the animals and farm life. She liked to tell the story of the ducks that followed her down the lane to the school bus and met her there on the road when she returned in the afternoon to walk her home to the farmhouse.

Ervin died in a tractor accident and Stephanie, at 14 years of age, shared raising her brothers Peter, age 8, and Mark, age 6, with Elfredo. She was smart, creative and energetic. All good things for that part.

At a very early age her artistic talent became evident. She was educated as an art major at St Olaf College and got her master of arts degree from the University of Wisconsin – Madison. She was a magician with a paintbrush. Her paintings were well known around Northfield. Her best were figurative and often whimsical. A popular series was made up of life size cutouts that she would position around campus to give the impression of students going about student things.

She returned to Northfield, MN, to marry a fellow artist – David Kamis. He was a popular middle school art teacher. Back on David’s farm in Dundas, she became a local activist for many causes affecting local community and farm life. Until the end, when her frail body gave out on her, Stef was tireless, some might even say fierce, in her efforts to see her community be the best it could be. She never folded to the corporate pressures around her.

She will be missed by her husband David, his children and her brothers Mark, TJ and Peter.

Also, she made a difference in the lives of those living around her, all any of us can expect in our short trip through this world. The sun will continue to shine but the days will possibly be not quite as bright now that Stephanie’s spark has been extinguished.

Survivors include her husband, David Kamis; her brothers, Peter Henriksen of Occidental, CA, Mark Henriksen of Columbia, NC and Terry Marks of Houston, TX; her step-children, Todd Kamis (Jeanine Taylor) of Dundas, MN, Leah Sirek (John Townley) of Owatonna, MN, Jennifer Maxa (Chuck Worsfold) of Chanhassen, MN; 6 grandchildren: Daniel (Roxane) Rezac, Melanie Rezac (Travis Martin), Nicole Sirek, Brandon, Tiffany and Lindsey Maxa; and 7 great-grandchildren. She was preceded in death by her parents; her step-father Warren Marks; and her step-son Hebert Kamis.

Services for Stephanie Henriksen will be 11 a.m. Tuesday, Jan. 19, at First United Church of Christ in Northfield. Interment will be in St. John’s Cemetery, Ringsted. Visitation will be at the church one hour prior.

Arrangements are with the Benson & Langehough Funeral Home.