Cover photo for Karen Jaehrling's Obituary
Karen Jaehrling Profile Photo
1936 Karen 2015

Karen Jaehrling

February 8, 1936 — April 28, 2015

Karen Ann Jaehrling, 79, of Watertown, passed away peacefully on April 28, 2015, at Marquardt Manor Hospice, after a long illness. Karen was the daughter of Clifford B. and Harriett (Sleep) Eames.  Karen was born in Reno, Nevada, on February 8, 1936.  Her father died in a car accident near Truckee,   Nevada, on January 20, 1938, when Karen was nearly 3 years old.  Her mother returned to Wisconsin, and Karen grew up in Whitewater and the surrounding area.  She graduated from Whitewater High School as Salutatorian.  Karen played trombone and participated in high school and college marching bands.  She earned her Bachelor's degree in education from the University   of Wisconsin Whitewater.  She worked as an English teacher at Watertown   High School from 1958-1963.  She began teaching at Watertown --Vocational-Technical School in the mid-sixties, and then continued her teaching career at Madison Area   Technical College until her retirement in June of 1996.  Karen earned many graduate credits and was a life-long learner.  Karen cherished the many friendships she developed over the course of her career.  Karen was honored as a Watertown Woman of Distinction and received numerous recognitions as an outstanding educator.  She held a special passion for working with adult learners.  It is hardly possible to mention her name to a group in Watertown without hearing "she was my teacher and I loved her."  Karen served her students and worked long hours preparing and adjusting lesson plans.  Those she touched knew her outgoing nature, fun sense of humor, and propensity for pranks.  She was cheerful always, even through a lengthy illness. Karen married Gervase Jerome Jaehrling on August 12, 1961, at St. Bernard's Church.  Karen actively participated in and led activities at St. Bernard's Church over her lifetime.  Karen was the devoted mother of Teresa, Donna and Paul.  She was a loving mother who took special interest in the lives of her children.  She was wounded to the heart at the loss of Paul at age 12.  Passing through this fire made Karen stronger and drew her to the Lord as a daily Mass attendee.  Karen was a voracious reader and enjoyed many genres.  Those close to her have benefitted from her reading recommendations, which have never disappointed.  After 46 years of happy marriage, she was preceded in death by her husband, Gervase Jerome, on October 2, 2007.  She was also preceded in death by their only son, Paul Vincent, on May 1, 1983.  She was further preceded in death by her parents and by her brother, Bradley D. Eames. She is survived by her  two daughters, Teresa (Ron) Smithrud and Donna Jaehrling of Janesville, and by two grandchildren, Erika Terese Smithrud, a student at UW Madison, and Nicholas Paul Smithrud of Janesville, as well as by her sister-in-law, Rita Jaehrling, of Watertown.  How beautiful upon the mountains are the footsteps of the messengers of peace.  Isaiah 52:7 within Karen's favorite poem, The White Cliffs, by Alice Duer Miller.   A cheerful glance brings joy to the heart.  Proverbs 15:30 A Mass of Christian Burial will be held at St. Bernard Catholic Church, 114 S. Church St., Watertown on Friday, May 1, 2015 at 12:00 pm with Father Patrick Wendler presiding. A visitation will begin at 9:30 am until the time of Mass. The family wishes to thank the staff at Marquardt Village and Hospice for their loving care of Karen over many years.

Visitation

Friday, May 1, 2015 9:30 AM - 12:00 PM
St. Bernard Catholic Church
114 S. Church St. Watertown 53094, United States

Service

Friday, May 1, 2015 12:00 PM
St. Bernard Catholic Church
114 S. Church St. Watertown 53094, United States
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