Karen M. Sokup, 70, a Stewartville,MN resident, died unexpectedly on Sunday (February 13, 2022) of a cardiac arrest at her home.
Karen Marie Kiese was born on January 4, 1952 in Winona, MN to Harold and Fern (Blum) Kiese. She grew up on the family farm in rural Lewiston, attended school there and graduated from Lewiston High School in 1970. She later attended beautician school in Winona, and would often share fond memories of her days working at Laehn’s and decorating cakes at Randall’s. Karen was married to Robert (Bob) Paul Sokup on July 3rd, 1973 in Arcadia, Wisconsin. Shortly after getting married, the couple designed, built and lived in a house just outside of Arcadia, where they spent many years raising their family. Karen’s favorite activity at their property each year was planning next year’s tulip garden, and she spent many days preparing and planting bulbs and talking about how beautiful the spring would be. In 1998, the family moved to a farm where Karen’s love of animal care grew and she put all of her efforts into it. Throughout the years, Karen was also known for her love of hunting and would show off her trophy buck as often as she could, sharing the story with anyone she met. Bob and Karen later divorced and Karen moved to Stewartville, where she lived for many years and continually made it her home.
Karen was very proud of her years as a farmer, and always had stories to share with anyone she would meet. After her move to Stewartville, she was employed at Sally's Beauty Supply as a beautician expert in Rochester, and as a cashier at Casey’s General Store in Stewartville. During these years, Karen made many dear friends and shared her joy for living with everyone around her.
Karen had a passion for making beautiful things and spent her free time gardening and making flower arrangements for those she loved. Karen enjoyed cooking and baking her mother’s recipes for her family. She loved watching the Hallmark Channel and time spent with her family. One of her greatest joys when visiting for family picnics each summer was honking loudly as she drove through the Arches tunnel, with laughter filling the car. She will forever be remembered as a bright soul with a heart of gold, and the most genuine smile and kindness for everyone she crossed paths with.
Karen is survived by daughters - Becky Rasmussen, Bonnie Sokup and Brenda Sokup; and grandsons - Carson and Jevin Rasmussen; 6 sisters and 3 brothers - Barb Ernster, Dave Kiese, Ruth Olson, Diane Martinson, Jim Kiese, Joanne Zeches, Betty Agin, Sara Stephan, John Kiese and many nieces and nephews. She was preceded in death by her parents – Harold and Fern Kiese.
A Memorial service for Karen will take place at 11:00 AM on Saturday, February 19, 2022, at Zion Lutheran Church in Stewartville with Rev. Ally Bowman officiating. A time of visitation for family and friends will take 1 hr. prior to the service. A private family burial will take place at a later date. Arrangements are with Griffin-Gray F.H. in Stewartville. Condolences and memories of Karen are welcome at www.griffin-gray.com
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