Karen Lee Orvis, 80, of Elkader, passed away Sunday, July 22, 2018, at Central Community Hospital in Elkader. She was born September 24, 1937, in Monona Iowa, to Everett “Pete” and Myrtle (Gilson) Drahn. Karen graduated from Monona High School, class of 1955. She excelled in music-flute and piano, and athletics where she and her MFL teammates reached the second round of the 1955 state tournament in Des Moines, losing to the eventual state champions.
She was united in marriage to Richard Lee Orvis on June 8, 1955, and they made their home in St.Olaf, Iowa, before relocating to Elkader in 1968. They became the parents of three children, Luanne, Brad, and Brenda. Karen was a Mother/Homemaker and her devotion to her family was second to none. She enjoyed baking. Her chocolate chip cookies, brownies, strawberry pie and homemade chocolate pudding were family favorites. Her special interests included golfing. She seemed to get better with age and even had a hole-in-one. Her yard was her therapy and she spent endless hours tending her flowers and plants, mowing, and trimming. She enjoyed music, especially singing and dancing with her extended family. In her later years, she loved playing her flute again with the community band.
Karen was notably her family’s matriarch. She was a leader that can best be described as strong, resilient, and protective. Despite hardships, she was able to endure thanks to her faith in the Lord and never ending devotion to her family. She focused on instilling those values in everyone.
Survivors include her children, Brad (Deb) Orvis of Decorah, Brenda (Chuck) Rodas of Strawberry Point and special grandson, Chad Klatt of Minneapolis, MN; seven grandchildren (including Chad), Ashley (Justin) Noethe, of Indianola, Erik Orvis of Jacksonville, FL; Jason Orvis of St. Joseph, MO, Allison Orvis of Iowa City, Kristin (Jonathan) Ballard of Nokesville, VA, Melissa (David) Recker of Lamont, IA; eight great-grandchildren; two sisters, Linda (Lanny) Scheffert of Monona, IA, and Susan (Dan) Hanson of Maple Grove, MN.
Karen was preceded in death by her parents; her husband on June 12, 1990, and her daughter Luanne Klatt on February 8, 1998.
Visitation: 4 to 7PM on Friday, July 27, 2018, at Leonard-Grau Funeral Home in Elkader and after 9:30 on Saturday at Bethany Lutheran Church in Elkader
Funeral Service: 10:30AM on Saturday, July 28, 2018, at Bethany Lutheran Church in Elkader with Rev. Margaret Yackel-Juleen officiating
Interment: Norway Lutheran Cemetery, rural St. Olaf.
Leonard-Grau Funeral Home & Cremation Service is assisting the family.