Karen R. Hemauer, age 76, passed away Friday, April 12, 2013, at Belmont Nursing and Rehabilitation Center in Madison, where she had lived for several years.

She was born Dec. 21, 1936, to Ruth (Peterson) and Aloysius Salm in Oshkosh, Wis. She grew up with her two brothers on her parents’ farm outside of Neenah.

She graduated from St. Mary’s Catholic High School in 1954. Karen received her bachelor’s degree from Spring Hill College in Moand bile, Ala. While at Spring Hill, Karen worked with the Rev. Albert S. Foley in the civil rights struggle in the South in the late 1950s.

After graduation, Karen returned to Wisconsin where she worked as a teacher. She married Ray Eberle, with whom she had five children. Karen raised her children in Le Sueur, Minn., and Plymouth, Wis. She dedicated many years of her life to the challenging job of teaching children with special needs, working at several schools, including Willowglen Academy. She had an abundance of patience and love for her special-needs students. She spent the last 10 years of her life in Madison, Wis., living near her three daughters and grandsons.

Karen enjoyed traveling and listening to classical music and was interested in history, English literature, and Native American culture. Although Karen faced many challenges in her life, her main concern was for the happiness of those around her, and she had a unique ability to see the good in everyone. Karen taught her children the importance of education, travel, and being accepting of all people.

Karen is survived by her five children, Mary E. Eberle (Michael Clark), Elizabeth J. Eberle, James R. Eberle (Carol Titus), Nancy Eberle (Paul Terranova) and William A. Eberle (Melissa); four grandchildren, Joseph Terranova, Benjamin Terranova, Samuel Eberle and Lindsey Eberle; one brother, Peter Salm; and one sister-in-law, Lorraine Eberle.

She was preceded in death by her brother, Richard H. Salm (Marjorie).

A funeral service will be held for Karen at noon Friday, April 19, at Zimmer’s Westview Funeral and Cremation Care Center, State 42 and County JJ, Howards Grove, with the Rev. Daniel Lasecki officiating.

Friends may call on Friday at the funeral home from 10 a.m. until the time of service.

Interment will follow at the St. Wendel Catholic Cemetery, Cleveland.

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