Music 32

Karen Ruth (Olson) PAGEL

April 18, 1929 ~ February 18, 2024 (age 94) 94 Years Old
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Karen PAGEL Obituary


Karen Ruth (Olson) Pagel, age 94 passed away on Sunday, February 18,2024 at Linden Court, Mukwonago. Karen was born on April 18, 1929 in Waukesha to Kernel and Nellie Olson.

Karen led a life of faithful commitment.

She had a life-long commitment to her hometown. She was born, raised and lived her life in North Prairie, Wisconsin. Long before the internet, she worked diligently to plan and lead a reunion for anyone who had attended Prairie View Elementary in North Prairie. As a member of the town’s historical society, she contributed her experiences and deep knowledge to the society and helped produce a book chronicling the history of the village.

Although she lived her life in the same place, she was also committed to travel and learning. She organized many family trips across the country so her children could experience the many facets of the United States. And later, she and her husband Lee travelled to Europe multiple times including a trip to Norway that she organized so she could meet with her relatives.

Her passion for music began at an early age. By age 17 she had become an excellent pianist and had learned to play the organ. At that point, she applied to be the organist for the Methodist church in North Prairie. While the church leaders were skeptical that someone so young could be that skilled, she demonstrated her expertise and served as the organist for 59 years.

She was committed to her husband Lee. She modeled what it meant to be in a relationship for the long haul and was married for 68 years until Lee’s passing in 2023.

Karen is survived by her children, Erich (Corinne) Pagel, Joann (Greg) Williams Sr. and Gary (Pam) Pagel; her grandchildren, Chad (Malinda) Pagel, Mark (Jennifer) Pagel, Gregory (Karlena) Williams II, Nicole (Justin) Seefeldt, Kelly Ann (Matthew) Schmidt, Megan (Jeremy) Pagel-Staples and her great-grandchildren, Ben, James, Hannah and Catherine Pagel, Victoria, Hannah and Grace Williams, Theodore and Oliver Seefeldt, Jennifer and Paul Schmidt, Emma Staples and Dylan Ruby Pagel-Staples, other relatives and friends.

Preceding her in death were her parents, her sister Bergetta Ruehmer, her brother Wesley Olson and her husband Lee Pagel.

The funeral service for Karen will be held on Saturday, March 9, 2024 at 11:30AM at Thelen Funeral Services (W309S4840 Commercial Drive, North Prairie/Genesee) followed by a luncheon at noon.  A memorial visitation will be held from 9:30AM until the time of the service.

Those wishing to send a memorial, in lieu of flowers, are asked to direct those to:

Commonheart Hospice OR Linden Court, Memory Care.

For those unable to attend, those wishing to share a memory or those wanting to just sign the on-line guest registry, please go to:  Thelen Funeral Services of North Prairie/Genesee is honored to be assisting the family.  262-392-4251






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Memorial Visitation
March 9, 2024

9:30 AM to 11:30 AM
Thelen Funeral Service and Synergy Crematory
W309 S4840 Commercial Dr
North Prairie, WI 53153

Memorial Service
March 9, 2024

11:30 AM
Thelen Funeral Service and Synergy Crematory
W309 S4840 Commercial Dr
North Prairie, WI 53153

March 9, 2024

12:15 PM
Thelen Funeral Service and Synergy Crematory
W309 S4840 Commercial Dr
North Prairie, WI 53153


Linden Court, Memory Care
845 East Veterans Way, Mukwonago WI 53149

Common Heart Hospice
1045 Hill Street, Watertown WI 53094


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