Karen Hensel, 85, of Bemidji, MN died Wednesday, December 4, 2019 at Sanford Bemidji Medical Center surrounded by her loving family.
Funeral Services will be 2:00 p.m., Saturday, December 14, 2019 at First Lutheran Church, Bemidji with Pastor Linnea Papke-Larson officiating. Visitation will be 5-7 p.m., Friday, December 13, 2019 at Olson-Schwartz Funeral Home and one hour prior to the service at the church. Interment will be in Greenwood Cemetery, Bemidji.
Karen Elise Maitland was born December 27, 1933 in Chicago, IL. to Alexander and Edna (Christopherson) Maitland. The family moved to Carlton, MN in 1941. Karen graduated from Carlton High School in 1952 and was the Salutatorian of her class. She was an accomplished pianist and taught piano lessons in her spare time. She was also a drummer in the Carlton High School band. In August of 1952 Karen entered the Women’s Army Corps (WACs) and was deployed to Okinawa in September of 1953. There she served as a company clerk with the 8117th Army Unit at Ryukyus Command Headquarters. She was honorably discharged August 1954 at the rank of corporal. On September 29, 1956 Karen married Rollie Hensel and moved to Babbitt, MN. In 1962 they moved to the Bemidji area. After raising her family she went on to work for the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and later became a Frohn Township Clerk and Election official. She was also a member of the American Legion and VFW. Karen loved music, reading, cooking, travel and spending time with her grandchildren.
Karen is survived by her husband, Rollie; son, Craig (Julie) Hensel; grandchildren, Brett and Kent Morien, Joshua Hensel, Zachary and Zane Hensel, Nadia and Aidan Yliniemi Hensel; 2 great-grandchildren and sister, Edna Lynn Matten.
Preceded in death by her parents and son, Laird.
Memorials may be directed to the First Lutheran Church, Bemidji.
Guestbook at www.OlsonSchwartzFuneralHome.com
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