Karen Hemesath, Castalia, Iowa, August 30, 2017

Karen Ann Hemesath, 73, of Castalia, Iowa passed away Wednesday, August 30, 2017 at the Ossian Senior Hospice surrounded by her loving family, after suffering a series of strokes. Karen Ann was born on August 27, 1944 to Philip A. Schmitz and Florence A. Miller in Decorah, Iowa.  She was baptized and confirmed at St. Francis de Sales Catholic Church, where she remained a member her entire life.  Karen attended De Sales Catholic High School and graduated in 1962.  Following her education, she attended the Paris Academy of Cosmetology in Cedar Rapids, Iowa.  After receiving her cosmetology license, Karen was employed at Althea’s Beauty Salon in Waukon, Iowa and then Brannon’s Beauty Salon in Ossian, Iowa.

Karen was united in marriage on June 2, 1964 to Frederick John (Jack) Hemesath at St. Francis de Sales Catholic Church in Ossian, Iowa.  Six children were born to this union.  After their marriage, they purchased a farm southwest of Castalia and engaged in dairy farming.

Karen raised her children and assisted Jack with bookkeeping.  She was involved with the Schmitz family funeral home up until her illness.  One of Karen and Jack’s favorite past times was dancing.  They could be spotted at every community dance, enjoying everything from polkas to waltzes.  Karen enjoyed spending time with her grandchildren, camping, time with friends, raising Maltese dogs, and BINGO!

Karen was a member of the De Sales Rosary Society, served her church as Eucharistic Minister and Liturgy Committee Member, and was a member of Ossian Crown Club, Tuesday Club, and Craft Club.  Karen poured her heart into every project that she was part of, including the Bingo program at De Sales for over 17 years. Karen will be remembered as a “social butterfly” who loved people and her home town of Ossian.  Her passion, generosity, and spirit to support her church and local community will be missed.

Karen is survived by her two sons;  Russell (Mary) Hemesath of Clermont, IA and Douglas (Jenny) Hemesath of Waterloo, IA; three daughters; Renee (Rick) Matt of Castalia, IA, Naomi (Jeff) Harm of Fairfield, CA, and Natalie (Dave) Knutson of Ossian, IA; fifteen grandchildren; Becca, Ben, Belle, Brian, Damien, Jesse, Sage, Ryan, Darin, Jacob, Dustin, Evan, Tanner, Colin, Josie and four great-grandchildren.  She is also survived by one sister; Mary Lou Uhlenhake of Ossian, IA and one brother; Kenneth (Jane) Schmitz of Arkadelphia, AR; Sisters-in-law Sharon Schmitz of Clinton, Sr. Tekakwitha (Germaine) Hemesath of Waltham, MA, and Colette McVaney of Omaha, NE; brothers-in-law Carl (Jeanne) Hemesath of Bonita, CA and Greg Hemesath of Lousiville, KY, and numerous nieces and nephews.

Karen was preceded in death by her husband, Jack Hemesath in 2008, her two sons, one in infancy, and Darren at birth; her parents: Philip and Florence; parents-in-law; John and Iola Hemesath;  one brother, Karl Schmitz; sisters-and-brothers-in-law; Ivan Uhlenhake, William and Elsie Dessel, Don and Irma Hanken, Mark and Bernice Tressel, and Donald McVaney; and one granddaughter, Beth Hemesath.

Visitation will be Friday, September 1, 2017 from 4-9 pm at Schmitz-Grau Funeral Home and Cremation Service, Ossian, Iowa and one hour before Mass at the church on Saturday.

Mass of Christian Burial will be at 11:00 am on Saturday, September 2, 2017 at St. Francis de Sales Catholic Church, Ossian, Iowa with Rev. Robert Gross as the Celebrant.

Interment will follow at St. Francis de Sales Catholic Cemetery, Ossian, Iowa.

In lieu of flowers memorial may be given to the Ossian Pavillion Fund, Ossian Senior Hospice and the Ossian Ambulance Fund.

Schmitz-Grau Funeral Home and Cremation Service, Ossian, Iowa is helping the family with the arrangements.

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