Karen Lea Hemenway, 77, of Hager City, died Monday, October 5, 2020 at St. Mary’s Hospital in Rochester. She was born April 19, 1943 to Arthur and Violet (Leeson) Mann in Red Wing. She graduated from Red Wing Central High School, class of 61 and then went on to attend St. John’s where she graduated as an LPN. She returned to Red Wing and began working at St. John’s Hospital as the night nurse for the nursery. On June 19, 1965, she married Clair “Butch” Hemenway, her high school sweetheart, at Christ Episcopal Church in Red Wing. After moving to Mankato for a short time she and Butch made their home in the Red Wing area. After her work at St. John’s Hospital she went on to work for Lutheran Social Services and Ron Davis, which later became REM. Together, she and Butch, in addition to raising their 3 children, fostered numerous children, many who were in crisis situations, for more than 30 years.
Karen was a life long member of Christ Episcopal Church. She spent more than 60 years as a member of the Memorial Day Committee, earned her 30-year-pin with the Girl Scouts, spent 10 years on the State Fair Board and was involved in 4H. She and Clair were members of a long-running card club and Karen helped organize many girls’ nights and game days for the class of ‘61. They were also active in both the Red Wing and Goodhue County Saddle Club where Karen showed and groomed horses.
Karen loved spending time with her family, especially at the cabin. She never missed a sporting event for her kids, grandkids or even her great grandkids. She loved the Vikings and was cheering them on to their win last Sunday. She was an avid cross stitcher and seamstress. She has a close relationship with QVC and an impressive collection of Longaberger Baskets. She and Clair traveled extensively, once putting 4300 miles on a brand-new car just for fun. They always had a plan but seldom a destination. It was the journey she enjoyed most. Karen loved to hunt and fish and when she was no longer able to go out on her own she made sure the rest of her hunters were well taken care of.
She will be missed by many, including her husband and best friend, Butch of Hager City; 3 children, Tony (Yolanda) of California, Shawna Curtis of White Bear Lake and Erich (Kari) of Mazeppa; 10 grandchildren, Tony, Alexis, Aurora, Natalie, Leanne, Allia, Aiden, Jordan, Kaitlin and Mitchell; 6 great-grandchildren; Lilyana, Ariah, Arri, Areum, Ryder, Abel and one more due in November; and sister-in-law, Judy Mann.
She is preceded in death by her parents and two brother, Jerome and Lowell (Cheryl) Mann.
A visitation will be 1- 4p.m., Sunday, October 11, 2020 at the Mahn Family Funeral Home, Bodelson-Mahn Chapel. Masks and social distancing are expected. Memorials are preferred to Red Wing Memorial Day Association, 1210 West 4th St. Red Wing, MN 55066. Online condolences may be left for the family at www.mahnfamilyfuneralhome.com
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