Dying man leaves better lives behind


You daily dose of sweetness comes from KARE 11, which has given Bob Karlstrand of Maple Grove his due.

Karlstand, a Vietnam veteran, is dying by colon cancer and lung disease. He was an only child. His parents are gone. He never married. He has no family.

He’s given all his possessions away. He’s given his home to Habitat for Humanity. He’s given his retirement fund to the nursing program at the University of Minnesota. That’s $1 million.

“Over the years I’ve been very fortunate to know a lot of nurses. Well, maybe not so fortunate to know a lot of nurses,” he said.

He won’t meet the six future nurses who’ll receive scholarships this year.

Related: When it’s time to let go

Update 2/9 – Barbara Schlaefer at the U of M writes:

The last line of your newscut blog is a little off, since Bob met the students for lunch a couple of days ago. He won’t meet these students in the hospital, but he has met them. Bob retired at 50 by being frugal with his office manager salary. He traveled the word on a shoestring and has done a ton of volunteer work.

Anyway just wanted you to know that Bob did, in fact, meet those students. But he likely will not meet the hundreds of students who will benefit indefinitely from the endowed scholarship he set up. He made quite an impression on the four juniors he met last week.