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Minnesota native Karin Niemi, mother-in-law of Patrick Swayze, dies

Karin Niemi (Haapaniemi) recently died at the age of 93. Special to Forum News Service

FARGO — Karin Niemi (shortened from Haapaniemi), the mother-in-law of the late film star Patrick Swayze, has died at the age of 93.

A native of Minnesota, Karin, a registered nurse, married Edmond Haapaniemi and settled in Houston, Texas. The couple had six children, including one daughter, Lisa, who married Swayze in 1975, a year after she graduated from the Houston Ballet Dance Company, which Swayze's mother owned and directed.

An obituary in the Duluth News Tribune stated that while Karin Niemi moved many times, she "always claimed that her heart lay in Minnesota." The obituary, which was posted online Monday, Dec. 17, didn't state when she died.

The obituary says that in her memory and in honor of Patrick Swayze, donations can be made to the Pancreatic Cancer Action. Lisa Swayze became the Chief Ambassador of Hope for the organization after her husband's death in 2009.

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