It is with great sorrow and a heavy heart that we share the loss of long-time Idyllwild resident and well-known artist Karin Maria Hedstrom, who went home to be with her Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, Saturday, May 15, 2019. She was 89.
Karin started life as a twin, the “older” one to sister Anna in Sweden. Following WW II, she sailed to America with an art scholarship and the the promise of a bright future. While at sea, she met a tall, dark and handsome fellow Swede, Rune Hedstrom, who was on his way to the USA to continue his career in the paper industry.
Rune told his children the story of how he looked over and saw the most beautiful, blond-haired, green-eyed woman aboard the ship. Rune fell in love. He flew back to Sweden to ask her parents for her hand in marriage. They loved Rune and said yes.
Karen and Rune married in the United States, where she received her naturalized citizenship. She and Rune honeymooned in a friend’s cabin in Fern Valley in 1958 and said since then they couldn’t stay away. The family settled for a while in Orange County with their three children.
In 1978, Rune and Karin bought their home in Idyllwild, a happy choice as Idyllwild reminded Karin of Sweden.
Karin was an accomplished illustrator, beginning her career creating complicated industrial drawings.
She illustrated “Pollyanna,” a Little Golden Book for Disney Studios, drawing the little girl who would be played by Hayley Mills.
Karin was also a medical illustrator for five years. She sketched, painted, sculpted and cast beautiful statues of immigrants, animals and other figures. She was talented in so many ways. She had two galleries and was an art show promoter in Idyllwild for many years; also,
Karin sketched homes for sale for a local realtor.
Karin was well known for her love of swimming. The groups Karin was active in included Art Alliance of Idyllwild, Associates of Idyllwild Arts Foundation, Grief Support Group at Pastor Wally’s church, the Red Hat
Society, the Presbyterian Church Women’s Guild and Idyllwild Cancer Support Group.
Also, Karin was a student at San Jacinto Community College, studying ceramics even after macular degeneration took its toll on her eyesight.
Her family rejoices in Karin’s reuniting with her husband who passed in June 2012, her son Krister, whom she lost in April 2015, and twin sister Anna, who passed away in March 2018, shortly after Karin made one last trip back to visit her in Sweden.
Survivors are daughters Ingrid Hedstrom, her caregiver, of Idyllwild, and Lottie Balish of Florida; two grandchildren in San Clemente; and two grandchildren in Florida.
A Celebration of Life is scheduled at Community Presbyterian Church at 2 p.m. Saturday, June 15, where all are invited to share their appreciation of this gentle lady with the sweet smile. Her church community and family will carry treasured memories in their hearts always, and receive comfort and peace knowing she rests in the arms of her Heavenly Father. A reception with refreshments immediately follows at the church.

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