Obituary for Karen Ruth Shepard

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Karen R. Shepard, 72, of Onalaska passed away Sunday, September 9th surrounded by family after a long battle with pancreatic cancer.
She was born on November 17th, 1945 to Loren and Myrl (Hare) Trautsch in Prairie du Chien, Wisconsin. Always a lover of music, Karen met her future husband, Leon, in the trumpet section of the Seneca High School marching band. She went on to graduate as the valedictorian of the 1963 class.
After graduation Karen moved to La Crosse and worked at Trane Company in the purchasing department. Karen later worked part time at Shared Purchasing Solutions for 30 years, retiring in 2007.
Leon and Karen were married on June 27th, 1964. They loved to travel and enjoyed many family driving trips across the United States in the early days. They were proud to have visited all 50 states. They went to Hawaii seven times, as well as Norway, Ireland and Portugal with the Busta Tour and Travel group while being joined by Mollie B.
Karen and Leon were long-time members of Our Redeemer Lutheran Church. They sang in the choir for many years and enjoyed brunch each Sunday with their “Breakfast Club” friends.
Karen was an avid quilter with the Our Redeemer quilters group. She made over 350 quilts for donation to Lutheran World Relief and La Crosse Area Boys and Girls Clubs. Her Tuesday quilting meetings were treasured times where she met wonderful friends.
Karen and Leon spent many evenings listening to live music. They were also loyal fans of Wisconsin Badger football and attended many high school sporting and music events at Onalaska High School.
Karen is survived by her husband of 54 years, Leon; one daughter, Angela (Steven) Mutch of Onalaska; one son, Gregory Shepard of Waukesha; two granddaughters, Erica Mutch of Minneapolis, MN and Natalie Mutch of Onalaska; two grandsons, Evan and Daniel Shepard both of Waukesha, WI.; one sister, Joanne (Bill) Peters of Guttenberg, IA.; as well as many nieces, nephews and cousins.
She was preceded in death by her parents.
Funeral services will be held at 11:00 a.m. on Thursday, September 13, 2018 at Our Redeemer Lutheran Church, 2135 Weston Street, La Crosse. Pastor Bruce Iverson will officiate and burial will be in Onalaska Cemetery. A visitation will be held on Wednesday at Dickinson Family Funeral Home, 1425 Jackson Street, La Crosse from 5:00 to 7:00 p.m. and again at the church on Thursday from 10:00 a.m. until time of service.
Memorials may be given to Our Redeemer Lutheran Church.
Online condolences may be sent to the family at