Carol Jean (Erickson) Kalmbacher

August 27, 1946 ~ October 9, 2018 (age 72)

Carol Kalmbacher, 72, of Bemidji, MN, died Tuesday, October 9, 2018 in her home.

Carol was born on August 27, 1946, to Arnold and Olive (Sjostrom) Erickson in Pine River, MN. She attended Mounds-Midway School of Nursing in St. Paul, MN, from 1964 to 1967. Upon graduation, she served in the Army Nurse Corps for two years, one of which was in Vietnam, where she achieved the rank of 1st Lieutenant. She subsequently earned a two-year diploma at Oak Hills Bible Institute (now Oak Hills Christian College) in Bemidji, MN. She also studied linguistics, translation, and anthropology at the Summer Institute of Linguistics in Grand Forks, ND, in preparation for missionary service with Wycliffe Bible Translators. In 1973 she and a co-worker moved to Indonesia and began Bible translation work among the Isirawa people of Papua.

On October 3, 1981, Carol married Greg Kalmbacher in Jayapura, Papua, Indonesia. In late 1983 they began new translation work among the Mpur people, which has continued to this year. (The Isirawa New Testament was completed by her former co-worker in 2005.) Carol did the primary work on the Mpur books of Genesis, 1 and 2 Thessalonians, and Titus, and helped Greg with the books of Mark and Acts, as well as much dictionary work, grammatical analysis, anthropological study, and medical assistance for her village neighbors. During her time in Indonesia Carol also taught linguistics at Cenderawasih University in Abepura, Papua, and chaired Wycliffe’s anthropology committee in Papua.

In November 2016 Carol was diagnosed with ovarian cancer. After a very successful surgery, she was quite healthy for fifteen months, but early in 2018 cancer symptoms began appearing again and causing other issues, ultimately leading to her passing. Carol and Greg had just celebrated their 37th anniversary.

She is survived by her husband, Greg Kalmbacher of Bemidji; three brothers and three sisters in Minnesota and South Dakota; four children, Hannah (J. Paul) Bryan of Boynton Beach, FL; Gabriel (Anna) Kalmbacher of Zeeland, MI; Kirk (Caroline) Kalmbacher of Chesapeake, VA; David (Jessica) Kalmbacher of Toccoa, GA; twelve grandchildren; and many nieces and nephews.

A memorial service will be held at 3:00 pm on October 27 at Calvary Chapel, 500 Irvine Ave NW, Bemidji, MN, with Pastor Chris Hess officiating; fellowship and a light meal will follow. A second memorial service will be held at 2:00 pm on November 17 at her childhood church, Pleasant Hill Community Church, Pequot Lakes, MN. Inurnment will be in Pleasant Hill Cemetery, Pequot Lakes, MN. Arrangements were entrusted to the Olson-Schwartz Funeral Home, Bemidji.

Donations may be made to Officers’ Christian Fellowship, 3784 South Inca, Englewood, CO 80110-3405,; and to A Child’s Voice, P.O. Box 3668, Auburn, ME 04212-3668,

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