Lillian Helseth Karlstad 1918-2008
Lillian was born Easter Sunday, March 31, 1918 in North Dakota, the
daughter of Lars Helseth 1885-1972 and Anna Elizabeth Staflin
1886-1950. Lars and Elizabeth were early homesteaders in McKenzie
County. Immigrating from Loen, Nordfjord, Norway, Lars Helseth arrived in
Minot, North Dakota on May 17, 1905. There he married Elizabeth Staflin on
August 28, 1909 and brought her to live on his homestead near Watford
City, where the first sod was turned with two oxen and a walking plow .
Lillian was the 8th of 17 children born to this pioneering farm family,
who in order of birth are: John, Clarence, Selma, Lloyd, Rudolph, Melvin,
Edna, Lillian, Nina, Viola, Arthur, Arnold, Ella, Ivan, Eva, Myrtle, and
In 1936 Lillian met Andrew Christopher Karlstad of McKenzie County, the
son of Chris Karlstad and Annette Satter who homesteaded near Banks.
Lillian and Andrew became engaged in 1938, before Andy moved to San
Francisco to begin a career as a sculptor and industrial designer. They
were married on June 15, 1939 at the Norwegian Lutheran Church of San
Francisco and began an eventful life together in California, ultimately
settling in the Sherman Oaks community of Los Angeles, where they raised
three children: Carolyn, Claire and Ken.
A woman of great faith and love, she devoted her life to raising her
family and being a help and blessing to her friends and her extended
church community. When Andrew died all too early in 1974, Lillian fully
engaged herself in a successful career of helping people to find better
health through organic food supplements. Organic before organic was
‘cool’, Lillian lived what she believed to the age of 90.
Lillian’s legacy is her three children Carolyn Cobb of Orange County, CA,
Claire Gibson of Cluj, Romania, Ken Karlstad of Mendocino County, CA,
five grandchildren, and four great grandchildren.