Karen Begalke, age 76, of Plymouth entered eternal life, surrounded by a loving family at home Sunday, Nov. 6, 2011. She was briefly at St. Agnes Hospital in Fond du Lac, cared by some of the finest caregivers one could ask for.

Karen was born at St. Nicholas Hospital in Sheboygan on April 15, 1935, to the late Arnold G. Olsen and Julia Flater Olsen. She loved growing up in Kohler and attended Kohler schools, graduating in 1953.

She met the love of her life, Ron, working at the Kohler Co. in 1954. On Feb. 2, 1957, they married and began a life of love, family, fun and happiness.

Karen and Ron have three loving sons, and three wonderful daughters-in-law: David and Joanie of Sheboygan, Mark and Mellonie of Troy, Mont., and Kurt and Carrie of Oconomowoc, Wis. Karen was blessed with eight grandchildren whom she loved so much, and they all adored her: Dan (Lauren), Katie, MaryBeth, Brian, Brynne, Claire, Moxley and last but not least, Adeline. She also enjoyed a brief time with one great-grandchild, Natalie. Some very special nephews and nieces also survive her.

Her parents, a brother Ken, and one special cousin, Jim Olsen, preceded her in death.

Karen lived life to the fullest and was always active. She enjoyed ice-skating, bowling, downhill and cross-country skiing, tennis and golf (she was good at them all, even being short and left-handed!). Winning was not important to Karen; enjoying the moment was. Her home was open to all for good times, cooking, Christmas parties, and socializing. She enjoyed traveling with Ron and friends, winters in Sedona, and planning family trips with the kids and the grandkids. One highlight was a 50th anniversary cruise to Alaska with the entire family.

Karen was blessed with many good friends, bridge and sheepshead groups, tennis groups, and the entire Gentine and Sargento Cheese family. Karen’s happiest moments were special times spent up north at their beloved cottage, “Finally Found.” It will not be the same without her.

Karen was an active member and leader of many groups and organizations at St. Paul Lutheran Church in Sheboygan and then St. John Lutheran Church in Plymouth. She was also an active volunteer at the Plymouth Hospital gift shop and a proud member of the SECAP singers.

Karen will be missed by all, especially her family. The physical ailments of the last 20 years have finally taken their toll. Karen’s will, fight, and perseverance has been an inspiration for so many, even until the very end.

Funeral services for Karen will be held at 11 a.m. Thursday, Nov. 10, at St. John Lutheran Church, Plymouth. Pastor Nathan Meador will officiate.

Visitation will be at the Schneider Funeral Home in Plymouth from 4-7 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 9, and Thursday at church from 9 a.m. to the time of service.

In lieu of flowers, memorials have been established for St. John Lutheran Church, Sheboygan Lutheran High School, and the Plymouth Arts Center.

“Therefore, do not worry about tomorrow for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.” Matthew 6:34

The family would like to thank all of the caregivers Karen has had. The doctors and nurses of Aurora Medical Centers, St. Agnes Hospital in Fond du Lac, and the wonderful in-home nurses of the Sharon Richardson Hospice Center.

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