Carissa Joy Odegaard


“And she loved a little boy very much, even more than she loved herself” (Shel Silverstein).

Carissa Joy Odegaard, 31, East Grand Forks, mother, daughter, sister, granddaughter, niece, friend, creative photographer, pumpkin spice connoisseur, child of God, “slipped the surly bonds of earth” on Wednesday, August 24, 2022, at Sanford Medical Center, Fargo, ND, leaving behind her precious children: Owen, Levi, Ezekiel, Nora, and Oscar.

Carissa Joy was born in Stockholm, Sweden, to Corinda Woinarowicz. When Carissa was three years old, Leslie Woinarowicz fell in love with both mother and daughter, and they became a family. Living in Bemidji, MN, Grafton, ND, and Glyndon, MN, the family grew to include Anna, Emily, and Dezzy over the years.

After high school, Carissa completed an associate’s degree in graphic design and recently earned a certificate in medical coding. She was a favorite photographer of many. She embraced creative living. Her one-of-a-kind crochet designs and other creative endeavors helped to pay the bills. Actively involved in her church, the peace of God radiated even when life was hard. She made being a mom her greatest privilege, so elegant with each of her children’s personalities, giving them tools to succeed while cheering them on with their individual interests. Since the birth of Owen, she participated in a local mom’s group, forming friendships that impacted her and others greatly. Although quiet, she had an infectious smile and made friends easily.

She is preceded in death by Ernest Woinarowicz (grandfather), Thomas Keenan (uncle), Gary Woinarowicz (uncle), and Andrew Torrey (cousin).

Carissa will be deeply missed, but her selfless example lives on in our hearts.

Funeral Service will be held Thursday, September 1, 2022, at 2:00 p.m. at Hope Church.

Visitation will be held 1 hour prior to the start of the service.

Burial will be held at Calvary Cemetery, Grand Forks.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be sent to First Community Credit Union for the children of Carissa Odegaard.

An online register book may be signed at

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