Karen, a resident of Colorado Springs for 37 years, peacefully passed away March 27 at Brookdale Monument Valley Park (assisted living facility), her home away from home. We thank God for her long and beautiful life!
Karen was born June 25, 1925, to Albert Martin Horgen and Gina Elizabeth (Livgard) Horgen in Clarkfield Minnesota, growing up on a number of farms her family would lease. She attended kindergarten through 12th grade in Boyd, Minnesota. After high school, Karen attended a nine-month teacher’s training program where she taught in rural Minnesota Districts. She had an opportunity to work summers at Glacier National Park, experiencing the great outdoors! Karen went on to earn her bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education. She taught in Granite Falls, Minnesota until she retired, many times stating that fourth grade was a favorite class to teach.
Karen was devoted to her parents and students. She loved her siblings and enjoyed many family reunions. Karen had the opportunity to travel with her sister, Donna, to Israel, Ireland and the British Isles. She also traveled within the United States; one memorable trip was when Karen, sister Lois and future sister-in-law Adair hopped in Lois’ Model A and drove from Minnesota to California for a class Karen and Adair had enrolled in that summer, what an adventure for three young women! Karen loved to shop, Donna and Karen would go to Brookdale shopping mall in Minnesota the day after Thanksgiving for the good sales! Memories from nieces and nephews include: she had a stuffed animal that looked like a collie that we LOVED to use as a pillow when we were younger. She always assembled the best set of Christmas gifts for us from when we were little to when we had children of our own. Karen sent early Christmas gifts to Colorado, which were outfits we wore for our Sunday school Christmas programs. She made the best banana bread and lovingly shared it with family members on their birthdays. Karen loved giving and wrapping thoughtful and practical gifts, sometimes she’d have a theme all year long and we would receive the same gifts. We still have our Campbell’s Soup mugs! At Christmas popcorn balls or popcorn trees with red and green gumdrops and peanuts, other treats, recipes, and little gadgets were given. Such fun! She loved her nieces and nephews and took pride in what we did and who we were, having experiences with us all, from taking us bowling, playing Uno, Scrabble, Caroms, board games and Zilch later in life, along with the Jumble puzzles in the Gazette Telegraph. Karen was quite the wiz at crossword puzzles (often sending them in for prizes), even at Brookdale (assisted living), with little eyesight left, she took part in crossword games and Jeopardy, answering many of the questions; she was very competitive! She may have grown up reading/ memorizing the dictionary! Her zest for learning never stopped!
After retirement, she moved to Colorado Springs to begin her new life, and a busy one at that! Karen owned a home, renovated it, and added a garage and masonry wall built with the help of siblings and in-laws. At this time in her life, she never slowed down. Karen was an active, participating member of Our Savior’s Lutheran Church, now Grace Lutheran, serving in many capacities. She was very involved in the Keenager group, ordering and cooking some of the meals for their meetings, maintaining the check book, planning programs, and keeping precise records of participating members. Karen supported the quilting group by cutting endless quilt squares, and in later years starting their afternoon coffee and helping with the snacks. Karen had a great appetite and loved trying different foods. She especially loved Lutefisk and Lefse. Words to describe Karen include: independent, adventurous, intelligent, creative, hard worker, a gentle spirit, always optimistic, a loveable aunt, unselfish, thoughtful, kind and giving.
Her faith was strong, and she cherished time with her church family. She absolutely loved being outside! She was a philanthropist all her life, she gave generously to her church, family members, and to other causes that helped others in need. She was an amazing woman with a huge heart! To know her was to love her! We will miss her beautiful smile and her charming quick wit!
Karen is survived by her sister, Donna Legrid; and nephews and nieces: David Legrid and Paul (Kelly) Legrid, Keith Laabs, Brian (Lorinda) Laabs, Kevin (Barri) Laabs, Gwen (Steve) Rudney, Sue Laabs, Cathie (Randy) White; cousins and great nieces and nephews along with great, great nieces and nephews.
Karen was preceded in death by her parents; 2 brothers Kenneth and Milton; a sister Lois; sister-in-law Adair; nephew Joel; great nephew Seth; great, great nephews Miles and Bennett.
A Memorial Service will be held at Grace Lutheran Church on Monday, April 17, 2023, at 11:00 a.m., followed by a light lunch in the Fellowship Hall.
Memorial gifts may be given to Grace Lutheran Church or Interfaith Hospitality Network (Family Promise).