Obituary: Karen Kohlmeier

Karen Kohlmeier

Karen Ruth Schultz Kohlmeier, 79, of Sabetha, passed away on Aug. 15, 2022, at The University of Kansas Medical Center in Kansas City, Kan. after suffering a stroke. After her passing, Karen’s wish of organ and tissue donation was fulfilled.

Karen was born on March 17, 1943, in Ellsworth, to Walter and Lilly (Kohls) Schultz. She graduated from Ellsworth High School in 1961. After graduation, Karen worked at Citizens State Bank in Ellsworth. In 1967, she moved to Salina, where she worked at the National Bank of America.

While working at the bank, Karen met Joyce Kohlmeier, who convinced her to go on a blind date with her brother, Marvin Kohlmeier. Three dates later, Karen agreed to marry Marvin in a double wedding ceremony alongside Marvin’s sister, Joyce, and her new husband, Mel Paulson. Karen and Marvin celebrated their 55th wedding anniversary on Aug. 7, 2022.

Marvin and Karen began married life in Ness City, Kan., where Marvin was a first-year teacher and coach, and Karen worked as an administrative assistant for the Ness City School District. In 1968, Marvin received his draft notice, and after basic training, they moved to Arlington, Va., for Marvin’s four-year commitment to the United States Army.

While in Arlington, Karen continued to work in banking. In 1970, Marvin and Karen welcomed their first daughter, Jada, at Walter Reed Army Medical Center. Shortly after Jada’s birth, Marvin was reassigned to Okinawa, Japan, and Karen and Jada joined him for a little over a year. In 1972, the family returned to the United States and made their home in Smith Center, Kan. Their middle child, Kam, was born in 1974. In 1976, there was another move and another child. Jace was born in Marysville, which became their home for one year. In 1977, the family found their “forever town” as well as their “forever home” in Sabetha.

Karen continued to be a full-time mother until she found her perfect job at Wenger Manufacturing Technical Center in 1980. She worked at Wenger’s until her retirement in 2005, and to say that Karen loved her job at Wenger’s would be an absolute understatement. While she found great satisfaction in her responsibilities as an administrative professional, it was the relationships that she formed with coworkers that brought her the most joy.

After retirement, Karen’s life became busier than ever. She was an active member of First Lutheran Church where she served on numerous committees. One of the highlights of her life was her involvement in establishing the First Lutheran Church Christian Preschool in 1990. She served as president of the Preschool Board until 2017.

Also, she and Marvin enjoyed amazing trips to Israel, Alaska, Germany, France, the British Virgin Islands, Mexico and Brazil. In addition, Karen loved to host guests for long stays at their home, loved entertaining and cooking for friends, and of course, serving everyone ice cream.

Even after 40-plus years of her supporting Marvin, Jada, Kam and Jace in all their school functions and extracurricular activities, she continued to enjoy attending, watching, and supporting her friend’s children and grandchildren in their Sabetha activities. Of course, one of her favorite pastimes and some of her fondest memories were made spending time with her five grandchildren, Kali, Gage, Quinn, Mara and Raena.

Karen was preceded in death by her parents; her brother, Lloyd Schultz; her two sisters, Dolores Mason and Shirley Olson; her sister-in-law, Gayle Schultz; and her two brothers-in-law, Johnny Mason and Clarence Sneath.

Karen is survived by her husband, Marvin, of Sabetha; her two daughters, Jada (Mark) Keehn and Kam (Kevin) Lawler; her son, Jace (Jill) Kohlmeier; her five grandchildren, Kali Kohlmeier, Quinn Kohlmeier, Raena Kohlmeier, Gage Keehn and Mara Keehn; her three sisters, Gladys Schroeder, Janice Sneath and Joyce (Jo) Schultz; and her two brothers-in-law, Kenneth Schroeder and Willard Olson.

A Memorial service will be held at 10:30 a.m. Saturday, Aug. 27, 2022, at the Sabetha Middle School. A visitation will be held from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. Friday, Aug. 26, 2022, at the Sabetha Middle School. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to First Lutheran Christian Preschool, which would fulfill Karen’s wishes, and sent in care of Popkess Mortuary, 823 Virginia, Sabetha, Kansas 66534.

Online condolences can be left for the family at

The Sabetha Herald 8/24/2022

The Sabetha Herald2151 Posts

The Sabetha Herald has been serving Sabetha since 1876.


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