Karen Kay Odell, 71, 660 E. Sarnia, was united with her Lord and Savior Jesus Christ on Monday, January 20, 2014, after battling leukemia with courage and grace.
Born on May 6, 1942, in Winona, to Leo and Erna (Ledebuhr) Nowlan, Karen was baptized and confirmed at St. Johnís Lutheran Church in Hart, and graduated from Rushford Senior High in 1960. She married Bruce Odell on February 25, 1976, in Hawaii, and he was by her side when she left this world for her heavenly home.
Karen had a long and distinguished career as Collections Manager for the Winona Clinic from 1962 to 1999, and Business Office and Collections Manager from 1999 until her retirement on May 6, 2007. She did her job with skill, pride, dedication and caring.
Karen loved music, and joined the Sweet Adelinesí City Steamer Chorus in 1962. She reorganized a new chapter of the Chorus in 1964, and served as its treasurer and president several times until 1989.
A true friend, Karen gave of herself in many ways. She will be remembered for her humor, hospitality and wonderful cooking, as well as her love for gardening, antiquing, and her dogs. Always classy, she especially enjoyed time with friends, and loved being the ďAmerican MomĒ to foreign exchange students Henrick (Germany), Aitor and Asier (Spain), Tigren (Armenia), and Ghada (Bahrain).
Karen is survived by husband, Bruce; brother-in-law, Craig (Linda) Odell; sisters: Mary Keeler of Grand Forks and Betty (Harvey) Klungtvedt of Rushford; nieces Robin and Erin; nephews Randy, Scot and Ryan; and many great-nieces and nephews. She was preceded in death by her parents, grandparents and brother-in-law, Jack Keeler.
Karen was a member of Central Lutheran Church. Memorial services will be held there on Saturday, January 25, at 11 a.m., with Pastor Michelle Rem officiating. There will be visitation at the church from 9:30 a.m. until the service. Honorary Bearers will be The Winona Hims, Kris Kulas, Joyce Gulbrandsen, Joyce Rocco, Nancy Evanson, Eugenia Moe, Marian Drussell, Barbara Niemeyer, Mary and Jim Girtler, Mike (Al) and Kathy Paffrath, Ginger and Gary Rogness, Kaye Richardson, Ed Wirtz, Linda Sue and Richard Treptow, Ranetta Lang, Mary Jane Guy, and Judie and Dave Mareachen. Memorials may be directed to the Winona Hims or Central Lutheran Church.
Martin-Myhre Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.