Cover photo for Kari Lindholm-Johnson's Obituary
Kari Lindholm-Johnson Profile Photo
1964 Kari 2024

Kari Lindholm-Johnson

April 10, 1964 — April 20, 2024

Kari Lindholm-Johnson, age 60, died peacefully in her sleep on April 20, 2024, in Chicago, IL. Kari was born in the small town of Ortonville, MN on April 10, 1964, to Rita Marie (Gerhardt) Lindholm and Loren Harold Lindholm. While Kari and her big sister, Jan, grew up, the family moved around a lot-to the Twin Cities, back to Ortonville, on to a suburb of Denver, CO, then to Mille Lacs Lake in MN, off to Omaha, NE, and finally to Coon Rapids, MN where Kari thrived as a student, clarinetist in the band, and athlete at Coon Rapids High School. After a one-year stint at Augustana College in Sioux Falls, Kari attended Taylor University in Upland, IN, and graduated with a major in psychology in 1986. After discerning a call to pursue ordained ministry, Kari attended North Park Seminary and earned her M.Div. in 1991. While in Haddam Neck, CT, for her internship, Kari met and fell in love with her husband, Timothy Johnson, and the couple married on November 25, 1989, at Salem Covenant Church in New Brighton, MN. They were joyfully blessed by the birth of their son, Gabriel Gerhardt Johnson, on April 19, 1997, and daughter, Chloe Lindholm Johnson, on March 2, 2001.

During their life together, Kari and Tim lived in Haddam Neck, CT; Evergreen Park, IL; Brooklyn Center, MN; and finally Chicago, IL, where the family put down its deepest roots. Kari took on numerous professional roles, including associate pastor, artist in residence, hospital chaplain, spiritual director, and interim pastor (most recently at the Edgewater congregation of the welcoming, inclusive Urban Village Church in Chicago). Kari especially found joy in her vocation as an artist and returned to North Park University to fulfill a long-held dream to earn a bachelor's degree in art; she graduated in 2020.

Known for her warmth, hospitality, boisterous laugh, and the ability to create a meal on a moment's notice, Kari deeply loved her family and friends. She found joy in their company, delighted in the good she always saw, and, when necessary, fiercely advocated on their behalf. Kari was creative, brilliant, tenacious, compassionate, brave, full of wonder, and endlessly curious-a polymath (as her son, Gabe, has noted) with the sensibility of a mystic, a woman of faith. She dove into life wholeheartedly and pursued projects with abandon, whether whipping up furniture and raised beds for the yard, foraging for food in the neighborhood, tackling a course in organic chemistry for the wonder of it, or creating her beautiful, visionary art. She described her vocation as an artist in this way in her poem "Paint":

My hands mix

Crushed rock and pressed seed oil

Dust anointed with intention

Moved by a paintbrush

Grounded and flowing, colors pushed and pulled

With the unrelinquishing hope and pursuit of


A representation, a healing, a place to rest

Reflected refractions that we are connected,


To Light, to earth and to one another

(©Kari Lindholm-Johnson)

Beyond describing or defining, Kari was one of a kind and was loved more than tongue can tell.

Kari was preceded in death by her parents, Loren and Rita Lindholm. She is survived by her husband: Timothy L. Johnson of Chicago, IL; children: Gabriel G. Johnson and Chloe L. Johnson of Chicago, IL; sister: Jeannette M. Lindholm (Christine Draper) of Beverly, MA; sister-in-law: Linda C. Morris (Tom Morris) of Seattle, WA; brother-in-law: Darryl N. Johnson (Cinda Madonna) of Seattle, WA; and the aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews, cousins, and friends whom she cherished and loved.

Kari was buried on April 25, 2024, at Roselawn Cemetery in Roseville, MN, and a memorial service will be held on Saturday, June 1, 11:00 a.m. (Central Daylight Time), at North Park Covenant Church, 5250 Christiana Ave., Chicago, IL. A live stream of the service can be accessed by using the following link:

Memorial contributions can be made to a ministry or charity of your choice.

To order memorial trees in memory of Kari Lindholm-Johnson, please visit our tree store.

Service Schedule

Past Services

Memorial Service

Saturday, June 1, 2024

11:00am - 12:00 pm (Central time)


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