Karen Rae Bambenek Andresen, age 59, of Minnesota City, died unexpectedly on Friday, May 4, 2018, at her home. Karen was born at home in Goodview on May 3, 1959, to Barbara Joan (Longton) and Anthony Valentine Bambenek.
Karen met the love of her life, Frank Andresen, in 1976 through her brother, Roger. Love knows no bounds as Frank walked from Minnesota to Karen’s home in Bluff Siding, Wis., in a snow storm. Karen’s family was returning from a trip to Kansas visiting her grandparents; as they laughed at the tracks of the soul who trudged dutifully to get his love, not realizing until later it was Karen’s Frank.
Karen attended Cochrane-Fountain City Schools, graduating from Winona Senior High School in 1977, and graduated with honors from Winona State University as a recreational therapist while pulling a 4.0 GPA. Karen married Frank in Durand, Wis., on July 29, 1977. To this marriage they were blessed with two daughters. Later in life Karen discovered the healing arts, she and Frank traveled, making friends as they went, opening Temple Harmonics, a singing bowl, gong and rock shop in Winona and extended her vast circle of friends as she enjoyed interacting with those that visited the shop. Karen had many interests: gardening, drawing and art from her great-aunt Evelyn’s hand-painted collection. She loved watching the birds that nested right outside her windows and enjoyed watching for eagles, owls and pelicans. She especially loved spending time with her granddaughter, Shawnessy, and listening to her sing. Karen affectionately called her Nana’s girl.
Karen was preceded in death by her maternal grandparents, Raymond and Goldie Longton; paternal grandparents, Anthony and Rose Bambenek; siblings, Raymond and Mary; nephew, Joshua Suhr; mother- and father-in-law, Jack and Goldene Andresen; brothers-in-law, Roger (Skip) Andresen and William (Bill) Mardaus; sister-in-law, Mary Skramstead Mardaus; greatly missed paternal aunts and uncles; and her beloved pets, Oscar and Harley.
Survivors include her husband, Frank; daughters, Shannon (Dan) Elmore and Stephanie Andresen- (Adam) Stevens; granddaughter, Shawnessy Christina Andresen-Torres; parents, Anthony and Barbara; sisters, Susan (Gerald) Suhr, Laurie (Rick) Krause, Antoinette (Randal) Drier, and Jacqueline Bambenek; brother, Roger Bambenek; sisters-in-law, Judy (Bruce) Jorgesen, Cindy (Warren) Niesche, and Ella (Kent) Pavelko; brother-in-law, Michael (Sue) Mardaus; great-aunt, Evelyn Irwin; uncles, Joseph and Gerald Bambenek; aunt, Pamela (Dean) Larson; many special nieces, nephews, great-nieces and great-nephews; numerous cousins; and her beloved dog, Zeta.
A memorial service will be held at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, May 16, 2018, at Hoff Celebration of Life Center, Goodview. Visitation will be from 6 p.m. until the time of the service. Please leave a memory of Karen and view her video tribute when it becomes available at www.hofffuneral.com. Hoff Celebration of Life Center, Goodview, is assisting the family with arrangements.