Karen Johnson, age 80 of Faribault, MN passed away on Monday, July 4, 2022 at Faribault Senior Living surrounded by her family following an extended illness.
Karen Ann, the daughter of Aldon and Marie (Schell) Voegel was born on October 18, 1941 in Faribault. She attended Bethlehem Academy High School and graduated with the class of 1959. Following high school Karen attended Mankato State University and received her Bachelor’s Degree in Elementary Education. On August 27, 1960 she was united in marriage to William Zerck. They later divorced in 1987. On May 24, 2005 Karen married David Johnson in Dothan, Alabama. Early in life, Karen led her children’s Cub Scout, Brownie, and Girl Scout troops. She volunteered for Meals on Wheels and at the River Bend Nature Center. She loved horseback riding, skiing and snowmobiling with friends. She also substitute taught while co-owning and managing several dairy stores in Faribault and the surrounding area. In 1981, Karen and Bill opened Bonanza Realty in Faribault. This led her to return to the workforce full-time as a real estate agent, an insurance agent and an appraiser. Later in life, she spent a lot of time traveling in Alaska and on the East Coast. Karen and Dave eventually purchased a second home in Florida where she developed interests in stained glass, raising orchids, and digging her feet into the soft sand of the Gulf. Throughout her life, Karen played piano, loved to sing, and spent many evenings dancing to Elvis and Willie in the kitchen. Karen was an amazing cook. She loved throwing a good party, and her kids and grandkids have all benefitted from the knowledge that sometimes dessert just has to come first.
She is survived by her husband David E. Johnson of Faribault; by her children, Joseph (Bonnie) Zerck of Anchorage, AK, Jeanne (Larry) Harn of Faribault, Ann (T.J.) Phillips of Spicer, MN, Chris (Jason) Wettstein of Olympia, WA, Katie (Patrick) Henry of Homer, AK and Jacque (Jeff) Elvin of Minnetonka, MN, Richard (Lori) Johnson of Waterville, MN, Patty (Tony) Novak of New Market, MN, Amy (Chris) Lake of Chaska, MN and Ben Johnson of Wrenshall, MN; by 28 grandchildren and 20 great grandchildren; by her brother-in-law, Ted Carlson of Suwanee, GA and by nieces, nephews and other relatives and friends.
She was preceded in death by her parents, and two sisters, Geraldine Storch and Elaine Carlson.
A Celebration of Life will be held on Tuesday, July 12, 2022 from 4:00 to 7:00 p.m. at the Parker Kohl Funeral Home in Faribault. There will be a time of sharing at 5:30 p.m.