Karen L. Smith, born on June 26, 1940, died at the age of 82 on Nov. 26, 2022, surrounded by her family. Her parents were Harold and Alma Abrahamson. Karen graduated from Waukesha South High School. She married Wendell C. Smith on May 28, 1960. They bought their first home near Lapham Peak State Park in Delafield. Together, they raised 3 children; Kim, Pam, and Jay. In 1970, the family moved to their Lebanon area dairy farm, where Karen continued to live after Wendell’s passing. She used her Associate Degree to pursue her career as Purchasing Clerk at Watertown Memorial Hospital. She made many friends during her time there.
Karen was very active in 4-H as a youth and later as a parent. She grew up enjoying horseback riding and playing softball. Through her lifetime, she continued to spend time with close friends from her high school days. Karen learned rosemaling as a nod to her Norwegian heritage. She collected antiques and had an extensive collection of milk bottles. She and her cousin Joyce went to many auctions together to buy antiques. She learned how to artificially inseminate their dairy cattle. She and her son, together, learned how to make maple syrup. Karen loved to spend time with and travel with her sister-in-law, Shirley. Her cousin, Joyce Albrecht, was a close friend and they spent a lot of time together. The family would spend Packer Sundays at Joyce’s home. In 2004, Karen travelled to Rome with friends. Though she enjoyed the trip, someone stole her purse the very first day.
Together, Karen and Wendell loved to travel to National Parks. She especially enjoyed camping at South Padre Island, Alaska, Canada, and West Virginia. In 1991, they purchased an adorable log cabin on the Peshtigo River where many wonderful family memories were made. They were super proud of their children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren.
Karen is survived by her 3 children; Kim Porzky, Pam Smith Jilk (Steve), and Jay Smith (Rachel), 5 grandchildren; Meghan Porzky, Jeff Porzky (Kelsey), Steven Porzky (Victoria), Kaitlyn Mallow (Tim), and Jacob Smith, and 5 great-grandchildren; Brantley Peterson, Owen Peterson, Wyatt Porzky, Ariya Mallow, and Westin Mallow. She is also survived by her brother Bill Abrahamson (Kathy), and her sister-in-law Shirley Abrahamson plus nieces and nephews; Tom, Ann, Laura, Chris, Cindy, & Craig. Further survived by a zillion life-time friends.
She was preceded in death by; husband Wendell Smith, brother Bob Abrahamson, her “partner in crime” Joyce Albrecht, sister-in-laws Fayne Haase and Donna Petrini, brother-in-laws Armand Petrini and Emil (Bud) Haase, nieces & nephews Jim, David, Mark, Peter, Anne and Mike.
The family would like to thank Rainbow Hospice for their kindness and compassion. A private family gathering will take place at a later date. Any memorials will be used to purchase a memory bench to be placed next to Wendell’s bench at the Lebanon Fireman's Park softball field.