Red Lake Nation News - Babaamaajimowinan (Telling of news in different places)

Karen Marie Fairbanks


Karen Marie Fairbanks

November 25, 1951 ~ May 5, 2021 (age 69)

Karen Fairbanks, 69, of Mahnomen, MN, passed away peacefully amidst a small circle of loved ones and prayers at Essentia Medical Center on May 5th, 2021.

Karen, also known as "Boozh" or "Gookoosh", was born on November 25th, 1951 to Jack Fairbanks and Mary Jane Folstrum/Fairbanks. She was the second born of 8 children and grew up in Lake George, MN.

At the age of 10 with both parents deceased she and her siblings were split different ways and moved around and she lived with several different foster families in the MN area. MOST of whom she maintained loving relationships with throughout her life.

She graduated valedictorian from the Laporte High School in 1969. - then she went to nursing school at Bemidji Vo Tech. She worked at Cass Lake Detox while married to David Wells.

Karen had 3 spirited daughters with him but later divorced and raised them on her own in rural Bemidji areas. She worked professionally as a seamstress to support her family and this talent later evolved into making regalia for the greater Ojiibwe nations throughout Minnesota and Canada. She was most known for her jingle dress making and extraordinary beadwork.

After Karen's daughters had grown she came to live in the White Earth community. She happily resided in Mahnomen and was loved by many. She was well known for both her generosity and fierce nature.

Karen enjoyed many things - such as playing bingo and cards, listening to music, dancing, socializing, and meeting new people. Karen never felt more proud than when she was surrounded by her family.

She will very missed.

Karen is survived by two daughters, Kerri (Terry) Jourdain of Laporte, MN and Sarah Headbird of Cass Lake, MN; one brother, Will (Lorraine) Klaus; three sisters: Sylvia Jean (Eddie) Lemay, Liz (Gary) Pierce, and Missy (Cliff) Fairbanks; 6 grandchildren; and her We'eh, Lorrie Lemay.

She was preceded in death by her parents: Mary Jane and Jack Fairbanks; her daughter, Mindy Swan; two sisters, Shirly Adams and Denise Dahl; and one brother, Freddy Fairbanks.

The wake for Karen will begin at 7:00 p.m. on Sunday, May 9th and continue until her 11:00 a.m. traditional service on Monday, May 10th all to be held at the White Earth Community Center in White Earth, MN. Interment will be in Calvary Cemetery in White Earth, following the service.

Karen's care has been entrusted to Northern Peace Funeral Home of Walker, MN. Online condolences for the family may be left at




May 9, 2021

7:00 PM

White Earth Community Center

White Earth

White Earth, MN 56591

Traditional American Indian Service


May 10, 2021

11:00 AM

White Earth Community Center

White Earth

White Earth, MN 56591


Reader Comments(0)


Powered by ROAR Online Publication Software from Lions Light Corporation
© Copyright 2021