Karen Pape, born Mary Karen Gherty on April 1, 1941, passed away peacefully on May 31, 2018. She fought a courageous battle against cancer, which was further complicated by her heart condition and will be missed immensely by all who knew her.
Karen was preceded in death by her loving husband, John; parents, Russell and Mae Gherty; and sister, Colleen (Gherty) Larson. She is survived by her five children and eleven grandchildren: Jeff and Sue Pape, children Elizabeth, John, Scott and Andrew; Julie and Bob Blabolil, son Bobby; Mike and Rhonda Pape, children Alex, Zach, Nick and Maggie Mae; Jennie and Dean Kelly, children Nicole and Sean; and Katie Pape. She is also survived by her three siblings: Mary (Gherty) and husband Sherm Stromen; Jack and wife Anne Gherty; and Elaine (Gherty) Grundhauser and sisters-in-law Anne (Pape) Emerson and Kay (Pape) Burch. Karen was a cherished friend and loving aunt to her many nieces and nephews.
Karen was born and raised in Erin Prairie. She graduated from New Richmond High School and the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire Magna Cum Laude, and was inducted into Phi Betta Kappa Honors Society. She earned a Masters degree in Education from the University of Wisconsin-River Falls. Karen lived her passion and taught second grade in Amery for two years before teaching third grade in the New Richmond School District for thirty-two years, retiring in 2010.
Karen was a lifelong resident of New Richmond involved in many civic, philanthropic, church and social organizations, clubs and causes. Karen had a unique ability to make everyone she met feel welcome and special. There was no greater joy for her than to attend her children’s or grandchildren’s activities, concerts, sporting events and special occasions. She had a deep love and commitment for family and friends, which created many lasting memories.
Karen was an exceptionally hard working, loyal and loving person who adapted to any situation with incredible dignity, class and grace. She loved teaching children both life and academic skills that significantly impacted the many lives she touched.
Visitation will be held from 5-8 PM on Tuesday, June 5, 2018 at the Cullen Crea Funeral Home. Mass of Christian Burial will be held at 11 AM on Wednesday, June 6, 2018 at the Immaculate Conception Catholic Church. Also visitation for one hour prior to Mass at the church.