Erin Koffler

erin koffler

Erin Koffler, 47, of Fargo, ND, died unexpectedly in her home on October 28, 2013.

Erin Leone Vettel was born in Ada, Minnesota, on February 18, 1966. The daughter of Larry and Leone Vettel, Erin grew up in Mahnomen and graduated from Mahnomen High School, where her father was a teacher. She attended North Dakota State University and completed degrees in English and Architecture. At NDSU, Erin was active in a variety of organizations including Blue Key, the Honors Program and in Speech and Debate, where she met her future husband, Monte. They were married at the NDSU Neuman Center on July 24, 1987.

Erin began her professional career as a technical writer at Great Plains Software. Erin and Monte moved to Lincoln, Nebraska, in 1994. Always energetic and creative, she continued her employment at Great Plains by telecommuting from their home in Lincoln, something novel for the time. While working full time, Erin also attended the University of Nebraska – Lincoln where she completed a master’s degree in Community and Regional Planning. When Great Plains Software was acquired by Microsoft in 2001, Erin and Monte returned to Fargo and she continued working for Microsoft until her passing.

Erin was passionate about learning, inspiring people, and improving her community. She maintained memberships in in a variety of professional organizations including the American Institute of Architects and the Society for Technical Communication. Erin was a long-time member of Mensa and served in various leadership positions. In Lincoln, Erin was an officer in her neighborhood association; in Fargo, she helped establish the Clara Barton Neighborhood Association. She volunteered at the Lincoln Literacy Counsel helping adults improve their reading ability.  Erin was a member of Nativity Catholic Church and served as a proclaimer.

The arts were a great source of joy to Erin. She particularly enjoyed theater and would rarely miss a show at MSUM Straw Hat, Theater B, The Stage at Island Park or Trollwood. She enjoyed music and attend many musical performances at the Fargo Theater, various Fine Arts Series events at the local universities and other concerts. She was a member of the Plains Art Museum, The Rourke Art Gallery Museum and the Minneapolis Institute of Art. She never missed the Fargo Moorhead Visual Artists Studio Crawl. Erin served on the boards of directors of The Arts Partnership and the Rourke Art Gallery Museum.

 At home, Erin dearly loved her dogs. She enjoyed reading in the screen house in the summer and trying not to kill her potted plants. She enjoyed scrapbooking. And, every now and then, she would enjoy a very well-deserved nap.

Erin is survived by her husband and her brother, Mike Vettel. She was preceded in death by her parents.

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Memories Timeline


  1. Glyndon MN
    I had the pleasure of working with Erin at Microsoft. She was quiet, but always listening and ready to offer her insightful assistance.

    I also knew that if I attended any local arts activities, I would surely find Erin there. She actively contributed to make the community a more beautiful and inspired place. She will be truly missed.

  2. Fargo ND
    I worked with Erin years ago at Great Plains Software – I was a computer programmer. I was so shocked to see her obituary and then the nice article in The Forum by Dayna del Val. Erin really was involved in a lot of things and will be missed by a lot of people. We hadn’t been in contact for many years but I remember her and a lot of the other tech writers.

    Lynn Thorp

  3. Kyle TXMonte and the Koffler family,

    Susie and I are deeply saddened to hear of Erin’s passing. Our thoughts and prayers are with you at this difficult time. Erin will be missed.

    Steve Vogel and Susie Frankenberger

  4. Ramsey MN
    Monte and family,
    So very sorry on the loss of Erin. You are in my thoughts and prayers. May God comfort you at this time and bring you peace and answers to your questions.

  5. Just heard. So sorry I didn’t make it to the vigil and funeral. I really enjoyed working with you at ND
    SU. I’ll never forget you taking me to stand up comedy and drinks for my 21st birthday. You’ll be missed.

  6. Bismarck ND
    Monte, I am so sorry to hear of Erin’s death. I have great memories of our time competing and traveling with the ND
    SU speech team. May God’s grace grant you peace as you go through the days ahead.

  7. Monte
    We are sorry to hear of Erin,s passing. Your loss is shared by all of us. We offer our condolences. The world is a lesser place without her.

    Jerry and Loraine Vettel

  8. Dickinson N.D
    .Monte, So sorry for your loss of Erin .
    I met Erin as your mothers guest at a Homemakers Meeting,we enjoyed her visit. Our thoughts and prayers go out to you and Erins family

  9. Elk RIver MN
    My thoughts and prayers are with you. Erin and I were high school classmates and she was always such a kind person. Gods blessings to you. Kathy (Doerfler) Mueller

  10. Fargo ND
    I am so shocked and saddened about Erin. Please accept my deepest sympathies- I can’t put into words my disbelief. You will be in my thoughts and prayers.

    Kevin Dill

  11. Findlay OhioI have such fond memories of Erin. My thoughts and prayers are with you Monte, Winston and Ralphie.
    I think how my husband and I say this about our lives – “We have only ourselves and each other… and the horse and the dogs.” – Then we smile 🙂
    I know you will be wrapped in the warmth and love of family and friends during this time.
    Thought nothing compares to having your best friend by your side. My deepest and sincerest condolences.

  12. Prescott AZ
    We mourn the loss of a good soul. Erin made everyone around her comfortable and at ease with humor and good grace. Her passing leaves a void that cannot be replaced. She will be remembered in our hearts forever.

  13. OregonErin was an amazing person, she truly cared about people and her community. She was involved in so many great organizations and projects. I can only imagine what she could have accomplished if her time with us had not been cut short.

  14. Mandan ND
    Really sorry we couldn’t attend. Your family has always been there for us. Wish we could be there now but just not possible.

    Condolences that don’t include a hug don’t mean the same. Sorry this is the best I can do right now. Very sorry for your lose.

  15. 3400 Hilleroed DenmarkErin reached out to so many people and in her own special way. I feel happy that I got to know Erin. I would like to send my warmest condolences to Monte and family with a quote by HC Andersen:
    A human life is a story told by God.

    From your former Dsnish colleague at Microsoft, Mette.

  16. Fargo ND
    Monte: I am so sorry to hear of Erin’s passing. I always enjoyed seeing both of you walking the dogs around the area. Erin was, of course, a fantastic person, always so tranquil it seemed. She cared so much about our historic neighborhoods and definitely was a great activist.

    Debby Frederickson

  17. Mahnomen MN
    Erin’s dad, Larry, and I were colleagues and friends at Mahnomen High School. I was fortunate to know Erin as she grew up in our small town. She was my student in English 12 and was a joy to have in class. More recently, I have visited with her during Straw Hat Players’ intermissions and shared some memories. She touched the lives of many. We are all fortunate to have known Erin.b

  18. Felton MN
    We are so sorry about Erin’s passing. My parents live next door to you. Our kids Julian & Kelsey really enjoyed taking walks with her and the dogs. She was so good with our kids and had alot of patients with them.They were also sad to hear the news. May you find comfort in all the wonderful memories you have of her and hear from others. She will be missed!

  19. eau claire WIMonte,

    My deepest sympathies, I am so terribly sorry for your loss. Please know I am thinking of you and will pray that you find peace.

    Charles Farrell

  20. Sun City West AZ
    I am so sad to hear of Erin’s passing. I worked with Erin as a Proclaimer at Nativity Church and we were in the same CRHP group. She was an amazing woman and will be missed by many. God’s blessings on you, her family, and closest friends and colleagues. Seems appropriate that I am writing this on All Saints Day as I think of Erin in prayer.

  21. San Jose I’m so sorry for your loss. I knew Erin when we both attended MHS. She helped mentor me in Speech competitions. I will always remember her fondly.

  22. West Fargo ND
    God has gotten another special person. Just too early for all of us here. Erin was a very special person to all that knew her. She will sadly be missed.

  23. Bismarck ND
    My deepest sympathy. I’m so sorry for your loss. Erin did a lot for Mensa, including organizing an amazingly successful Regional Gathering. She will be sorely missed.

  24. Fargo ND
    I met Erin on a technical writing contract at Microsoft. Although I never worked directly with Erin on a project, I could instantly sense her dedication to her job and love of the arts.

    I looked forward to her Facebook posts to see what her dogs were doing, what house projects she was working on, or the art classes she was taking.

    Monte, my thoughts and prayers are with you and your family. God bless.

  25. Fargo ND
    Erin was so fun to hang out with while scrapbooking, card making, and generally playing with crafts. We spent many a Saturday at an Open Crop and sometimes it was just the two of us. We’d enjoy a nice dinner with beer and wine too! And was also a regular at our weekend scrapbooking retreats – oh the fun we had! Always interesting conversation, relaxing, and easy.
    I will miss her terribly. Taken way too soon, God must have great plans for our Miss Erin!
    My thoughts and prayers are with Monte, Erin’s family, and her multitude of friends.

  26. Monte,

    So sorry for your loss of Erin. I had gotten to know Erin through the ND
    chapter of Mensa and found her to be such an involved, thoughtful, and giving person. Her efforts and dedication to everything she was involved in will be missed, but most importantly, her humanness and gentle soul will be missed more in a world of turmoil and strife. May she rest in the presence of her Creator and Saviour.

  27. Detroit Lakes MN
    May she rest in peace with the Lord! I have good memories of the few times I met her. God bless her and her family.

  28. Fargo ND
    We remember Erin as an engaged and capable ND
    SU architecture student and a caring friend throughout her adult life. We were fortunate to spend time traveling with her in northern Europe in 1989. Erin will always be remembered for her bright enthusiasm and the ways she always showed her appreciation to people. We know how much she especially card for Monte and the dogs. Our hearts are with you and we know how much she will be missed. Hold those wonderful memories close to your heart. With deepest sympathy Steve and JoAnna Martens

  29. Fargo ND

    We are so sorry for the loss of your wife, Erin. Our hearts ache for you.
    You are all in our thoughts and Prayers.
    God Bless and take care.

    Rick and Vernice

  30. I met Erin as she was a volunteer organizer for a neighborhood association. It was a wonderful expression and example of her thoughts and action to build a better world for all. My condolences to her family and friends. Tim Mathern

  31. Ames IowaWhat a shock to hear of Erin’s death. She was my STC friend and colleague before she was my longtime Mensa friend and colleague. Her energy, enthusiasm, caring, and passion made everything better that she touched and enhanced the lives of many many people…she was an inspiration to me.

    My sympathies to you, Monte, and her friends and family. Erin will be greatly missed.

  32. Erin was always such a pleasure to be around and I so much enjoyed my time working with her at Microsoft. A genuine, sincere person that touched my life as I’m sure she has done with so many others that had the privilege of knowing her.

    My heart goes out to the family and friends coping with their loss.

    With deepest sympathy,
    Belinda Forknell

  33. Fargo I’ve known Erin for many years, she was a woman with an amazing heart, sense of humor and joy for life. Her loss will be felt by all who know her. May the perpetual light shine upon her.

  34. Hermiston OROur thoughts and prayers are with you. We are so sorry for your loss, she will be missed. Sorry we can’t come in person but you are in our thoughts.
    Love, Pete, Helen and boys

  35. Seattle WAErin was a valued and brilliant colleague and a fantastic person. She died much too soon.Her Microsoft “family” will never be the same without her. My thoughts are with Monte and her family.

  36. Pelican Rapids Our love and prayers are with you during this difficult time. Erin was a gem and we were saddened by the new.
    Doug and Sue Bruggeman

  37. Manassas VirginiaMonte…My prayers are with you and Erin at this time of sudden and great loss. I am so sorry to hear of her passing.