Obituary for Karen Ann Handel

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Karen Ann Handel, 61, of Holmen, Wisconsin, passed away on September 23, 2019 after a long, and hard-fought battle with cancer. Karen was born in Rock Branch, Iowa, on October 29, 1957 to Kenneth and Irma Susie.
Karen is survived by her husband Kent Handel, of Holmen Wisconsin, her daughters Ashley and Erin Handel of La Crosse and Holmen Wisconsin, and Heather Jordan (nee Handel) of Holmen, Wisconsin. She is also survived by Mary Handel, her siblings Darrel Jeanette Susie and Roger Jean Susie of Kingsley, Iowa, her sister Joan Larson of Stillwater, Minnesota, Dan Murray, her brother in law, of Kingsley, Iowa and Randy and Donna Handel of Paducah, Kentucky. These are the people who will carry on her legacy.
Preceding Karen in death are her parents, Kenneth and Irma Susie, her sister Janice Murray, and Ervin and Mary Handel, her in laws.
Karen was a bright, vivacious, fun-loving woman whose smile could light up an entire room. She was a devoted wife of 40 years to Kent, and a wonderful mother to their three children. She was outgoing and fun and had many groups of friends, everything from coffee to a monthly Bunco group.
It was Karen’s philosophy in life to always give back to your community whenever and however you can. She volunteered at countless places and made each endeavor special. Viterbo University recognized her service by awarding her the Saint John XXIII Award for Distinguished Service in June of 2019.
When not volunteering or having fun with her coffee and Bunco friends, Karen loved to garden. She grew everything from strawberries to raspberries, carrots and onions to pumpkins and squash. Her gardens were her pride and joy and will remain a loving tribute to her time on Earth.
Funeral services will be held at 10:00 a.m. on Friday, September 27, 2019 at Dickinson Family Funeral Home, 401 Main Street, Onalaska. Pastor Randy Hedge will officiate and burial will be in Linwood Cemetery, Dubuque, IA. A visitation will be held at the funeral home on Thursday, September 26th from 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. and again on Friday from 9:30 a.m. until time of service.
In lieu of flowers memorials may be given to Viterbo University Institutional Advancement, 900 Viterbo Dr., La Crosse WI. 54601 or the Boys and Girls Club of La Crosse, 1331 Clinton Street.
Online condolences may be sent to the family at