Karen Louise Larson, 80, of Lake Tomahawk, died on Monday, Nov. 12, 2018, in Madison, surrounded by family. She passed away from complications caused by esophageal cancer. Karen was born on Oct. 29, 1938, in Wausau, to parents Melvin and Bernice Trantow.

Karen graduated with a nursing degree from the Evanston School of Nursing, and earned a masters in public health degree from Oklahoma City University. For many years, she served as the director of community services for the Marathon County Healthcare Center in Wausau. 

Karen was a bright light to many, with diverse interests and talents. She was a master gardener, a voracious reader and founder of book clubs, a skilled artist and painter, a gourmet cook, a frequent entertainer at her home on Two Sisters Lake, an avid follower and debater of politics and social issues, and an adventurous traveler most recently exploring Sicily, Italy. Her grandchildren know her as Cousins Camp Counselor and the one who always had a program. Her lifetime of service spanned the lives she touched through community mental health programs in Wausau, and most recently, through the Caritas service mission at St. Matthias Church in Minocqua. Many will also recall Karen as one-half of a beloved and generous couple, with her husband Dr. David Larson, who passed away in 2012.

Karen is survived by her six children, Kimberly (Ed) O’Connor of Sun Prairie, Kenton Bradshaw of Rhinelander, Holly (Jeff) Eversoll of Stoughton, Holly Larson of Durham, N.C., Kristen (Greg) Larson Blair of Chapel Hill, N.C., and Joshua (Kim) Larson of Mill Valley, Calif. Karen is also survived by nine grandchildren, Reilly, Kieran, and Aidan O’Connor, Jackson and Parker Eversoll, Austin and Katie Blair, and Izzy and Reese Larson. 

In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be made in Karen Larson’s memory to the Caritas service mission at St. Matthias: Caritas-Minocqua, P.O. Box 936, Minocqua, WI 54548. Online condolences may be made at www.gundersonfh. com.