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Karen E. Orvis, 81

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Karen E. Orvis, age 81 of Lawler, passed away peacefully at home surrounded by her family on Saturday, Oct. 16, 2021.  

Karen Elaine Hilbert Orvis was born July 23, 1940, to Harry and Margueritte (Haight) Hilbert of Waterloo, the oldest of four children.  

She graduated from Waterloo West High School in 1958.  After graduation she worked for a year as the secretary to the president of the Iowa Bowling Association and then took a job in the office at Rath Packing Company.

Karen married Charles Orvis on June 3, 1961, at First Methodist Church in Waterloo.  They settled on a farm north of Lawler until Charlie entered the Army in December 1961.   When Charlie was discharged, they returned to farming north of Lawler.  

Karen and Charlie were blessed with four children:  Jack, David, Tim and Karla.  Karen truly loved being a mother and homemaker. 

She returned to school in 1984 and graduated from the clerical program at what is now NICC.  Karen then found her calling as a Chickasaw County homemaker home health aide.  

After retirement, Karen was able to fully enjoy her role as grandmother and great-grandmother.  In 2006 the Orvises moved to their home in Lawler.

Karen was a member of the Kountry Kitchen Klub for over 55 years.  Karen was a faithful member of Immanuel Lutheran Church (Crane Creek).  She enjoyed attending the school programs and sporting events of her children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

Karen will be remembered as a kind and gentle person.  Family was everything to her.  She loved having her kids around whether it be the early morning wake up visits from Jack, Sunday suppers with David’s family, nightly phone calls from Tim and absolutely everything that involved Karla.  

The granddaughters will remember sleepovers and the grandsons the backyard football games. Grandma Karen loved nothing better than holding a new baby in her arms when the great-grandchildren came along.  Her entire family will say she showed her love by baking endless batches of chocolate chip cookies.

When Karen’s health began declining this past year, it was her wish to stay in her home for her remaining days.  Karen was so proud of her family for making this possible.  She also appreciated the special in-home care of Linda Alexander, Dorann Burgart, Linda Schaufenbuel and Hospice Nurse Nicole Reicks.  You were truly angels in our time of need and your kindness to Karen and her family will not be forgotten.

Karen is survived by her children, Jack and Verna Orvis, Lawler, David and Arleen Orvis, Calmar, Tim and Tina Orvis, Lawler and Karla and Steve Gilbert, New Hampton; 10 grandchildren, Sarah (Kyle) Renn, Amanda (Barry) Reicks, Rachel (Danny) Sender, Michelle (Adam) Brincks, Kaitlyn Orvis, Ethan Orvis, Jonah, Orvis, Kayla (fiancé Dylan Robinson) Gilbert, Nolan Gilbert, and Ben Gilbert; 10 great-grandchildren Jack, Abel and Jude Renn, Jaila, Amelia, and Lydia Reicks, Huxley Sender, Charlie Brincks, and Addalyn and Kaden Nesbitt; brother, William (Jean) Hilbert, Waverly, and sisters-in-law, Teresa Hilbert, Urbandale, Marcia Hilbert, Manchester, Beverly (Gene) Johnson, Waterloo, and Connie (Denny) Gewecke, Vinton. 

Karen was preceded in death by her husband of 52 years, Charles (2013); her parents; and her brothers, Don Hilbert and Rick Hilbert.   

Funeral services will be held at 11 a.m. on Friday, Oct. 22, 2021, at Immanuel Crane Creek Lutheran Church in Lawler. 

Burial will be held in the church cemetery. 

If you are unable to attend the services in person, please join the family via Conway-Markham Funeral Home’s Facebook page at 11 a.m.

Visitation will be from 4 to 7 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 21, 2021, at Conway-Markham Funeral Home in New Hampton and will continue at the church one hour prior to the funeral service on Friday. 

Online condolences may be left at www.conway-markhamfh.com. Memorials may be directed to the family.

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