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Karen Szymanowski, 1946-2019

Memorial services for Karen K. Szymanowski, age 73, of Albert Lea, will be at 10 a.m. Saturday at First Lutheran Church in Albert Lea. The Rev. John Holt will officiate. Visitation will be from 5 to 7 p.m. Friday at First Lutheran Church and one hour prior to the service at the church on Saturday. Online condolences are welcome at www.bayviewfuneral.com.

Karen lost her battle with ALS on Wednesday, Oct. 2, 2019.

Karen Szymanowski

Karen Kristine Szymanowski was born Aug. 16, 1946, in Mason City, Iowa, the first of Robert and Arline (Eskildsen) Gore’s six children. She graduated from Albert Lea High School in 1965. Karen met John Paul Szymanowski, an Army food inspector from Pennsylvania, while he was stationed in Albert Lea. On April 22, 1967, they were united in marriage at First Lutheran Church in Albert Lea. After John’s tour of duty in Vietnam, they moved to St. Paul.

In 1974, Karen, John and their two sons moved to Germany, where John was stationed for three years before moving back to Carlisle, Pennsylvania. In 1981, they moved to Denmark for three years before moving to Modesto, California, where they were living when John retired from the Army.

After his retirement they moved back to Karen’s hometown of Albert Lea in 1992. Karen worked in a variety of places doing accounting and office management including Campbell’s Soup Co. in California and Gametec in Albert Lea.

Karen was an active member of the community. She was involved at First Lutheran Church, including the choir and church council. She was also active with Albert Lea Community Theatre, where she served the offices of president, treasurer and member of the board, acted in several plays, stage managed others and enjoyed set dressing.

Karen enjoyed and excelled at gardening. She loved traveling, including taking her grandchildren on several trips. She was a great and sometimes creative cook, normally insisting the proper dish or tool for the job was of the utmost importance. She enjoyed and excelled at many things, including being able to sew most anything you would want. She was accomplished at knitting, crocheting and calligraphy, and was an avid reader and loved her book club.

She also expertly decorated numerous cakes for family and friends’ weddings as well as many other celebrations.

Karen is survived by her mother, Arline Gore; husband, John; two children, John (Melanie Gooden) Szymanowski and Chris (Jennifer) Szymanowski; five grandchildren, Blake, Claire, Samantha, Ava Szymanowski and Sam Cummings; one brother, Dennis (Julie) Gore; two sisters, Joan (Russ) Miller and Sue (Bob) Julius; sisters-in-law Sharon Zajicek, Sherry Brandt, Roberta (Ed) Brown, Rebecca (Charles) Sturgess, Susan Shirey and Rachel Mollick; and one brother-in-law, Michael (Lynne) Szymanowski; as well as numerous nieces, nephews, great-nieces, great -nephews and cousins.

Karen was preceded in death by her father, Robert Gore; and brothers Ronald and Randall Gore.