Maureen Gay Van Camp

January 1st, 1945July 13th, 2022

Maureen Gay (Knudsvig) Van Camp left her earthly home on July 13, 2022.

Maureen was born in Killdeer, ND, on January 1, 1945. Her New Year’s birthday was always a cause for celebration! She attended Dunn Center School until she completed her sophomore year of high school when Killdeer and Dunn Center began merging the two schools. She then graduated from Killdeer High School in 1963. (She was so hoping that she would be able to attend her 60th high school class reunion next year.)

Maureen graduated from Dickinson State University in ND. Her first teaching/librarian position was on the Fort Berthold Indian Reservation in Twin Buttes, ND, under President Lyndon Johnson’s Title II program. She had four students and was adopted as a member of the Arikawa Indian tribe.

Her full-time librarian duties commenced in St. John’s, MI, in 1967, in the high school, where she met Eric Van Camp, her future husband. They were married in 1969 in Normanna Lutheran Church, Dunn Center, and moved to Boulder, CO, where he began studying for his master’s degree. She started working as a secretary at the Colorado University Law Library and eventually earned her Master’s, too, while working full-time, eventually establishing a career ladder. Both graduated with their Master’s in Summer, 1973, and were divorced shortly thereafter.

Maureen’s work experience was quite varied. She learned quickly that two jobs would allow her to own a home--her most prized possession--plus have some of the amenities that couples share. Colorado University was her stable employment for almost 40 years. She also created a business, Tidy Touch, a company that provided house/pet sitting, plus cleaning. She built the company on customer referrals and sold it after seven years.

Rentals were another source of income, selling Mary Kay products, plus a job as “Sample Server” at Costco. Bartering was a part of her survival plan. She met some very interesting people, who became good friends.

In 1977, she took a dare and went around the world in 99 days on the Semester at Sea program. She was paid to go on the trip as the Head Librarian. The ship stopped at 13 ports. It was an awesome experience for her and changed her life. She would have gone again without hesitation.

In 1980, after spending ten years in the CU Law Library, she was promoted to Manager of the Media Library, where she stayed until her retirement in 2007. She was honored as “Employee of the Year in 2006” and received the Marie and Martha Campbell Award for staff excellence in 2006, as well. CU was an important part of her life.

Her favorite words were “opportunity” that she fought for constantly, and “justice” for all. Both were part of her daily life.

Maureen was constantly working to make people aware of environmental issues. Recycling was her passion, as almost everyone who knew her was aware. She knew if we became good stewards of the earth, all of us would benefit and nature would ultimately reward us. She was also honored with an individual achievement award from the Campus Earth Summit in 1998 for her commitment to reducing the burden Colorado University places on the local and global environments.

Everyone who knew Maureen enjoyed her sense of humor and purpose. Her compassion and concern for others was noted by friends and family. She loved to host brunches at her home, decorating her home with the current holiday theme, plus wearing holiday attire herself, especially wild socks!

She was concerned for the welfare of all animals and loved to garden, inheriting her father’s ranching and farming love and talent for the same.

After giving cancer a heroic run, Maureen passed on July 13, 2022, at Good Samaritan Hospital in Lafayette, CO. Her three bouts with cancer covered almost thirty years, but she met them with grace, strength, courage and humility, plus humor.  She strived to maintain her lifestyle throughout her treatments as well as a positive outlook.

Maureen is survived by her family who loved her and were so very important to her: Sister, Francine Gustafson, (Roger) Chaska, MN; Brother, Neil Knudsvig, Green Valley, AZ; Brother, Loran Knudsvig (Valerie), Audubon, MN; and brother Steve Knudsvig (Kathy), Foresthill, CA. Eight nieces and three nephews were regularly remembered by her with birthday, Christmas and graduation gifts. She was a great-aunt for eleven great-nieces and three great-nephews.

She was preceded in death by her parents, ex-husband Eric Van Camp, and a sister-in-law, Jeane Knudsvig.

Maureen desired to have her body donated for medical research and that wish was fulfilled. Maureen will be buried in North Dakota in the Dunn Center Cemetery at a later date.

Maureen loved poetry and wrote verses often in her Christmas letters, plus for memorable occasions. Her family feels this one is appropriate as a farewell to our sister, aunt, great-aunt and friend.

GOD SAW HER

Anonymous

God saw you getting tired

When a cure was not to be,

He closed His arms around you

And whispered, “Come to Me.”

In tears we saw you sinking,

We watched you fade away.

Our hearts were almost broken,

You fought so hard to stay.

But when we saw you sleeping

So peacefully, free from pain,

We would not wish you back to suffer again.

So treasure her, Lord,

In your garden of rest.

For here on earth

She was one of the best!

Services

A memorial service will be held on Saturday, September 24th at 10am at Darrell Howe Mortuary in Lafayette. A reception will be held following the service at the Renaissance Boulder Flatiron Hotel, 500 Flatiron Boulevard, Broomfield, CO 80021.

For those who are unable to attend, the service will be live-streamed. Please click on the link to watch the service: https://view.oneroomstreaming.com/authorise.php?k=1659046185198806

Maureen will be buried in North Dakota in the Dunn Center Cemetery at a later date.

Cemetery

Dunn Center Cemetery | Map

Location

Darrell Howe Mortuary | Map

Church

None

Condolences

Maureen was a delightful, beautiful lady in every way. Her kind presence and smile made the world a better place. Thank you, Maureen, and blessings to you kind heart. Rest in peace. You will be missed. Love, Joan Campbell
I will miss you at our Friday coffee group and at Silver Sneakers. Your friendship and goodness will remain with me forever. Love, Phyllis Kretsch
Oh Maureen - how I am going to miss you. What a contagious smile you had and you glowed everywhere when you smiled. You always knew how to spread a little joy everywhere to just about everyone always thinking of the other person - you were a good neighbor and a very good friend. You will be sorely missed my dear gf - God has gained another Angel. Enjoy you new home and we will meet again. God Bless you!!
I met Maureen when her Dad was our neighbor in Dickinson, ND. She always took time to visit us when she came back to see her Dad. We have many fond memories sitting on her Dad's deck and having a beer and telling stories! Maureen was a wonderful, kind, caring person. I was able to visit with her when her Dad passed away! No more pain! Rest In Peace, Maureen!
Maureen was such a kind, loving and fun person and a special "Bus Buddy" to me. She had so many experiences, so many stories and we loved every moment with her at Bus Buddy gatherings. She was my Mary Kay lady for many years, even after I moved back to California. Such a huge influence for Lafayette and recycling activities. I loved our gatherings in her beautiful back yard. Such a fighter and a "Hero". The past 16 years we stayed in contact and her note were always full of humor even when life was pretty rough for her. She will be missed by so many.
Oh, Maureen, words cannot express our loss. We could not have asked for a better neighbor for so many years. You were always there for us and so many others. We miss you but know you are in a far better place sharing your love with others. Sharon and John
What a delightful person she was! She showed such grace through her illness and always concerned about how things were going for "you". It was a privilege to be your friend.
What a delightful person she was! She showed such grace through her illness and always concerned about how things were going for "you". It was a privilege to be your friend. Sandra Alles
Maureen was truly one of a kind, bringing her unique blend of humor, stories of her experiences, and concern for people and the earth wherever she went. I truly miss her. Besides providing me with her latest idea for the ecology tips I write each week for church, she exemplified what it means to live simply. Creating community was another of her gifts, in her neighborhood and with our bus buddy group, to name just two of her circles of friends. Even as she went through treatments, she kept a positive outlook and made people laugh. Maureen, you truly made a difference on this earth, and we will treasure our memories of your kindness and generosity! Love, Carole
My first job at CU. AV was a fun and safe place to be my first years as a student. Thanks for everything Maureen. You will be missed. - Rick
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