Karen Mae (Thurston) Thormodson Dauer, 76, of rural Morgan, died peacefully on Friday, March 18, 2016 surrounded by her family at St. Mary’s Hospital in Rochester of complications from pneumonia.
Funeral service was held at 1 p.m. Tuesday, March 22, at Trinity Lutheran Church, Sleepy Eye, with Pastor Keith Ainsley officiating. Interment was in the Linden Lutheran Cemetery at Hanska.
Karen Mae Thurston was born on January 2, 1940, in Madelia, Minnesota, the youngest of four children of Miles and Irene (Borowski) Thurston. Karen graduated from Madelia High School in 1958. She was united in marriage to Luther Thormodson at Garden City Christian Church in Garden City, on Sept. 18, 1959. Following their wedding, they farmed in rural Hanska. To this union, six children were born: Jeffrey, William, Kenneth, Miles, Mary Kay and Mitchell. Karen and Luther also had a foster son, Andrew Iverson. Luther died on December 16, 1988. On January 4, 1992, Karen was united in marriage to Fred Dauer Jr at Trinity Lutheran Church in Sleepy Eye. They farmed in rural Morgan and enjoyed traveling, going fishing, and spending time with all their children.
Karen graduated Magna Cum Laude from Mankato State University in 1985 with a M.A. in Psychology and Communications. Throughout her life she owned Karen’s Kreations flower shop in Hanska, was the district sales manager for AgriPro Seeds, a radio personality for 94.7 FM Country in Springfield, and also a portrait consultant for Olan Mills Church Directory Division. Most recently Karen owned Sleepy Eye Floral and Design. She worked with flowers all her life and loved arranging flowers and growing plants, especially orchids. Her passion was fishing; it didn’t matter if the fish were biting, she enjoyed spending time with family and friends in the boat. Karen was a devoted fan of Minnesota Vikings football. Karen loved her children, step-children and all her grandchildren very much. She was an excellent babysitter and her grandchildren loved it when Grandma would come to take care of them. She had an adventuresome spirit and traveled to Thailand, Russia, Brazil, Panama, and also within the United States. She was involved in politics with the Republican Party for most of her life. Karen’s vibrant Christian faith and love for others was evident in all she did. She was an active member of Trinity Lutheran Church of Sleepy Eye, where she taught the Adult Bible Class and was a member of the Evangelism Board.
Karen is survived by her loving husband of 24 years, Fred Dauer, Jr. and five sons: Jeff (Jeanne) of St. Louis, Missosuri, Bill (Deb) of Hanska, Ken (Kim) of Miltona, Miles (Susan) of Richmond, Mitch of Seattle, Washington, and one daughter, Mary (Dale) Hedstrom of Lakefield, MN. Karen is also survived by four step-sons: Jason of Albert Lea, Bryce (Saige) of Bozeman, Montana, Christopher (special friend, Brittany) of Springfield, David (special friend, Kelly) of Clements, and one step-daughter, Kelsey (Ryan) Bergemann of Good Thunder. She is also survived by one foster son, Andrew Iverson of New Hope; 26 grandchildren and three great-grandchildren. She was preceded in death by her parents; and her first husband, Luther Thormodson.
Sturm Funeral Home in Sleepy Eye was entrusted with funeral arrangements. On line condolences may be left for the family at www.sturmfh.com.