Karen Ann La Fleur, 66, of Madison and formerly of Caledonia went to meet her Heavenly Father on Monday, June 3, 2013, at the University of Wisconsin-Madison Hospital after courageously fighting a long illness with a positive attitude and surrounded by her family.
Karen was born on July 30, 1946, in Caledonia, Minn. to Harold and Wilma (Fruechte) Thimmesch. She graduated from Loretto High School in 1964 and from the La Crosse School of Cosmetology in 1965. She was united in marriage to Al La Fleur on Sept. 3, 1966 at St. Peter’s Catholic Church in Caledonia. Throughout her life, she worked as a beautician, daycare provider and a retail sales associate.
Karen spent most of her life in Caledonia but also lived in Cleveland, Tenn. from 1990 until 1998 and in Madison, Wis. from 1998 until her death. She loved attending many family gatherings and going out to visit friends. She and Al traveled to many states throughout their marriage but her favorite place was Tennessee. She felt she was a southerner at heart and loved southern manners such as when the younger people would address her as ‘Miss Karen.’ Many would say that Karen had a boisterous laugh, a big heart, an infectious smile and that she loved to talk. She enjoyed doing crafts, puzzles and reading books, but most of all she cherished the times when she was with her four grandchildren.
Survivors include her husband of 46 years, Al of Madison; two daughters, Theresa (Paul) Ringo, Rollingstone, Minn. and Cherie (Kevin) Magaard, Mankato, Minn.; grandchildren, Ethan Ringo, Kailee, Lynsey and Lukas Magaard; siblings, Rita (Bob) Barris, Holmen, Wis.; Ellen Schmidt, Onalaska, Wis.; Arlene (Roger) Holland, La Crescent, Minn.; Paul Thimmesch. Oregon, Ill.; George (Sara) Thimmesch, Lake Geneva, Wis.; and Charles (Laurel Reinhardt) Thimmesch, Caledonia; aunt Alta Pfieffer, Minnetonka, Minn.; sister-in-law, Janice Hill, La Crescent, and many nieces, nephews, cousins, and dear friends.
She was preceded in death by her parents, her uncles Mervin Fruechte, Don Pfieffer and Wesley Thimmesch, and her brother-in-law Mark Hill.
The family would like to give special thanks to all the doctors, nurses and medical staff at UW Hospital and Clinics and the Wisconsin Dialysis Center for all their efforts to take care of Karen all these years. They never gave up on her right up to the end and she did not give up without a good fight and a positive attitude.
A Mass of Christian burial will be celebrated at 10:30 a.m. Monday, June 10 at the Cathedral of St. Joseph the Workman, La Crosse. Visitation will be held Sunday, June 9 at the Schumacher-Kish Funeral and Cremation Services, La Crosse from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m., with a prayer service at 3 p.m. There will also be visitation at the church from 10 a.m. until the start of mass.
A private family burial will take place at a later date.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be given to The American Diabetes Association at www.diabetes.org.
Schumacher-Kish Funeral Homes, La Crosse, is in charge of arrangements. Online condolences may be sent at www.schumacher-kish.com.