Otter Tail County women who died within days of each other were related

FARGO -- Family and friends have gathered here and in Minnesota's Otter Tail County to deal with the sudden, untimely deaths of two women who were related.

Kirsten Laney (l), rural Underwood, Minn., and Allison Moline (r) Rockford, Minn. Special to The Forum

FARGO -- Family and friends have gathered here and in Minnesota’s Otter Tail County to deal with the sudden, untimely deaths of two women who were related.

The women died within days of each other -- one from a blood infection and the other after falling from a horse.

Kindred, N.D., native Allison Moline, a 34-year-old mother of five, developed an infection after having kidney stone surgery.

As Allison fought for her life, Kirsten Laney, 48, of rural Underwood, Minn., prayed with others at the hospital. Family members say she wanted to help comfort her first cousin Brandon Moline, Allison’s husband.

Allison died from the blood infection on March 10.


As family members headed to the F-M area to mourn, the second blow came -- Kirsten’s death, on March 15.

While riding horse with a friend that afternoon near her home, Kirsten’s horse got spooked and bucked. The accomplished rider fell, suffering a fatal head injury.

Kirsten’s aunt, Naomi Larson of Fergus Falls, said family members are trying to come to grips with what happened, but are filled with faith.

“We just know that God is going to bring good out of these tragic situations and that’s what gets you through,” Larson said.

Kirsten’s father, Jim Moline of Bend, Ore., said his daughter was undergoing training to establish a nonprofit ministry ranch near her home. Oakdale Korral Rescue Ranch would pair rescued animals with hurting, at-risk youth.

“She really had a heart to help people,” Moline said.

He said his daughter was motivated to do so, in part, because of a murder that shook Underwood in 1985. Sarah Rairdon, 13, was killed by her father John Rairdon when she tried to fight off one of his sexual advances. John Rairdon led search parties to look for Sarah before he confessed and was arrested for the crime. He’s serving a life term in a Minnesota prison.

Moline was a minister in the area at the time and daughter Kerstin was a teenager herself when Sarah was killed.


“I never forgot and Kerstin didn’t either,” Moline said.

The family will try to determine how to keep Kerstin’s dream for the ranch alive. She’s survived by husband Ken Laney and two sons, Kade and Kolton.

Allison Moline is survived by husband Brandon Moline, a Wahpeton native and pilot. They lived in Rockford, Minn., with their children: 9-year-old Isaac, 7-year-old Carter, 5-year-old Graham, 3-year-old Clara and 3-month-old Sheppard.

“Her kids were her life,” Larson said.

A YouCaring memorial fund created by Allison’s twin sister, Kim Olson, of Kindred had raised more than $108,000 for the family as of March 19.

Allison Moline’s funeral was held at Bethel Church in Fargo on March 18. Kirsten Laney’s funeral will be March 24 at Lakes Area Vineyard Church in Detroit Lakes.

Larson said there are more than 150 people in the immediate Moline family and many have met up in Fargo and at a family member’s home in the Rothsay, Minn., area.

“The support of people has been huge,” Larson said. “Everybody is thankful for that.”

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