Karen J. Theis

karen theis
Karen J. Theis, age 70 of New Hampton, IA, formerly of Hastings, and Brooklyn Park, MN, passed away on Friday, May 1, 2020 from complications of Lewy Body Dementia at Patty Elwood in Cresco, IA. A private Mass of Christian Burial will be held on Tuesday, May 5, 2020 at Holy Family Church in New Hampton with Father Brian Dellaert celebrating. Friends are welcome to join the Theis family for Karen's graveside service held at 12:00 noon on Friday, May 8, 2020 at Calvary Cemetery in New Hampton. Online condolences may be left at www.conway-markhamfh.com. Memorials may be directed to Holy Family Parish in New Hampton, St. Catherine University, Lewy Body Dementia Association or donor’s choice. Karen Jean was born February 1, 1950 the eldest daughter of Ralph and Mary Jane (Lynch) Theis in Grinnell, IA. In her early years, her family lived in Brooklyn, IA before making their home in New Hampton. Karen was a graduate of New Hampton High School and College of St. Catherine in St. Paul, MN. Following her college education, Karen worked as an executive secretary at several Twin Cities businesses. After obtaining her Paralegal Certification, Karen worked at West Publishing (Thomson Reuter’s) for a number of years. Upon her retirement from corporate life, Karen returned to her roots in New Hampton and opened a Curves franchise location. She was bitten by the travel bug while working in Minnesota, visiting 45 of the 50 US states, and exploring far off places such as Austria, Ireland, Denmark, Germany, Switzerland, Mexico, Australia and Fiji. Her last international trip was with several members of Holy Family Parish to the Vatican City in Rome. When Karen wasn’t traveling abroad, she spent much of her time at the Theis Family home overlooking Lake Pepin. Those left to cherish her memories are her sister, Linda (Chrys Gross) Theis of Minneapolis, MN; uncle, Tom (Barbara) Lynch of Edina, MN and numerous cousins, extended family and friends. She was preceded in death by her parents, Ralph and Mary Jane (Lynch) Theis. Special thanks to the caring staff of Country Winds Manor, Cresco, IA and cousins, Kathy and Don Blocker and Pat and Sandy Johnson for their constant and unwavering love and support for Karen.

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Memories Timeline


  1. Have missed you for a long time at the lake all the laughs and smiles. You with your favorite drink. It sure was your happy place. Now you are at peace after a hard long journey. Miss you dear friend. Diane Ball

  2. I met Karen back in the 60s when she worked at Northeast State Bank .We became very good friends and had a lot of fun together I was able to visit her a few times at her last place and was so sad to see her as she was.I will remember her for all the fun we had together. My condolences to her family from Ruth Modrow

  3. Karen and I had been friends for 68 years. We shared many wonderful times together. I will miss you dear friend. God bless and rest in peace. Kris Markham

  4. Karen was a wonderful beautiful person. She was fun person to be around. My sympathy & prayers to her family and best friends. She is at peace.

  5. My deepest sympathy and prayers to Karen’s family. She was always fun to visit with, you never knew what she’d come up with! John & ZoAnn Bear

  6. We got to know Karen through Ruth & Elmer Modrow in the 70’s. We had a lot of good times together. Our condolences to her family from Darrell & Jan Carruth

  7. All our prayers to her family. May her memories console you in the days ahead. Jeanne and David Roder

  8. I am so sorry to hear of Karen’s passing, she was a dear sweet friend. Sad how she ended up in the home at Cresco, the last days of her life. Now she can be at Peace. Condolences to her family & friends. Edna Schwickerath

  9. I first became friends with Karen when sje sat in front of me in HS freshman science class. We developed a knack for having open and honest conversations. She used to tell me I was the biggest brat she knew. When I last saw her at our 30th class reunion she informed me that I still held that title. A fun person. My sincere condolences to her family.

  10. Karen was a friend of mine from the 80’s at Gelco in Eden Prairie, MN. I now live in Oregon and saw her listing in the Star and Tribune. I recognized her face right away. To her family – deepest condolences. she was a great friend to me. Kathryn Sterner

  11. Karen will always be remembered as a very good and fun friend. It is so sad the way she spent the last of her life. We are sure she is in a good place and having a Manhattan with her mother. Rest in peace. June and Jerry Bourgeois

  12. You have my deepest sympathy for your loss, I got to know Karen from Curves in New Hampton years ago, we became very close and always visited alot. Sorry she ended up in Cresco. Prayers and love. JUDY DESLOOVER. WAUCOMA

  13. My heart goes out to Karen’s family. Karen suffered with the same desease as my husband, and it is a long journey. She is at peace now in her heavenly home. I remember the many enjoyable conversations I had with her over the years.

  14. Our sympathy to Linda and all of Karen’s family. What a fun loving gal she was. We all have missed her. Duane & Pat Lynch

  15. We were so saddened to learn of Karen’s passing and send our deepest sympathies to her loved ones. We have many memories of fun times shared while we were all students at New Hampton High School. She had a beautiful smile and impeccable style. We pray she is resting peacefully with the angels.

  16. Hi, Linda–I was so sorry to hear about Karen’s passing. We knew each other almost our whole lives and grew up together. After graduating from high school, we kept in touch through college, and then followed each other’s careers. When Karen moved back to New Hampton, I always appreciated that she was such a good neighbor to my Mother. I enjoyed our visits/cocktail hours when I would return home. It was especially fun to compare notes about our various travel adventures. Karen was a warm, compassionate, and supportive friend. I shall miss her, and her sweet smile. Please take some comfort knowing that she is finally experiencing the joy and happiness that she so richly deserves. Jim Smith

  17. To all of Karen’s Family and Friends: Please know that you are all in our thoughts and prayers as Karen has been. I know that Our Lord has welcomed her and comforted her with Peace!! Darlene and Larry Throndson

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