Karen Elaine (Grothe) Freiheit


Karen Elaine (Grothe) Freiheit

June 2, 1944 – August 2, 2023

Karen Elaine Freiheit, age 79, of Clinton, Missouri, passed away peacefully with her husband at her side on August 2, 2023. Karen was born to Obert and Gena Grothe at their rural Wanamingo, Minnesota farm on June 2, 1944. While her sisters were graduating from Wanamingo High School and obtaining jobs away from home, Karen unexpectantly became in charge of household chores at the age of nine when her mother passed away. The on-the-job learning curve was challenging, yet she swiftly adapted.

As a licensed driver at age 16, Karen’s favorite Minnesota winter sport was blasting through country road snowdrifts with the family’s 1954 Chevrolet. Such driving skills enabled Karen to be at work during inclement winter weather. She graduated from Wanamingo High School in 1962. She enjoyed math, Elvis Presley, roller skating, pet cats, bowling, dancing to old time music, traveling, playing card games with relatives and friends, and sunshine.

Karen met her husband Larry after being introduced to him in 1960 by her cousin, Marilyn Gronseth. Marilyn is married to Lavern “Pete” Freiheit, Larry’s brother. Karen and Larry were married at Dale Lutheran Church on May 27, 1966. At that time, Karen worked for Northwest Airlines gathering statistics as a comptometer operator. During Karen and Larry’s marriage, she was the loyal and steadfast “wind beneath his wings” that ensured all household and child raising requirements were met during Larry’s flight training and absences for military duty.

Karen was preceded in death by her parents, Obert and Gena Grothe, her sisters Sandra Grothe, Madelon (Leonard) Payne, and recently her brother Jerome “Jerry” Grothe. She is survived by Larry Freiheit, her beloved husband of 57 years, and their children, Dr. Stacy (Scott) Freiheit-Olson and son Kirk (Kelli) Freiheit. She is also survived by two grandchildren: Anders (Deidree) Olson and Lars Olson.

Special thanks go to the Overland Park Regional Medical Center Intensive Care Unit (ICU) in Kansas City, KS for providing the best care possible for Karen’s simultaneous battle with Covid and pneumonia during her final days.

A Celebration of Life service is scheduled for 1:00 p.m. on Saturday, November 4, 2023 at Dale Lutheran Church, south of Wanamingo, MN