Van Den Heuvel, Karla "Kar"
Karla "Kar" Van Den Heuvel, 64, Green Bay, died Monday, June 23, 2014 at her home.
I'm writing my obituary because I know approximately when I'll be greeting the big guy in the sky or at least I'm praying that's who will be greeting me.
I was born on January 16, 1950, to wonderful parents, John and Helen Powell. Mom always said I was born on the coldest day of the year. I was the fifth of six children. I graduated from West De Pere High School in 1968. I started babysitting at the age of 8. I started working at the age of 16, being a waitress and then worked at the paper mill (former Fort Howard) until my former husband and I bought a tavern in Green Bay (Dick & Kar's).
I was married on February 15, 1969 to Dick Van Den Heuvel. We divorced in 1990 and remained good friends. Our marriage blessed us with two wonderful children, Penny Jo and Rich. We owned and operated Dick & Kar's Bar together for over 13 years and then I took over and owned and operated Kar's Place until 2008. I made wonderful friends and enjoyed my job very much.
I met the love of my life, Bruce Van Dreel and we celebrated over 25 years of being together. Bruce stood by me during my fight with breast cancer in 2002 and helped me in every way possible just like he did this time with my lung cancer. He was with me for every chemo and doctor visit. I don't know what I would have done without you, Hon.
I enjoyed country music, playing cards, going shopping, riding motorcycles, going out to eat, bonfires, and conversations with my friends. Most of all sitting on the deck Bruce built for me and sitting in my swing. I also loved having the granddaughters here for a week in the summer. Christmas was also a great joy.
I am survived by my mother, Helen Powell; siblings, my oldest sister, Yvonne (Gary) Cornell (who I respected and admired all my live); my oldest brother, Darold (Gladys) Powell (who always looked after me); my big brother, Dave Powell (who was always there to help me when I needed his help); my sister, Jan Spaude (who has always been my best friend, my telephone buddy, my confidant, and everything else I needed and sometimes things I didn't need); and my little sister, Mary (Earl) Kazik (who I didn't see very often but loved very much).
I am also survived by the love of my life, Bruce Van Dreel; my daughter, Penny Jo (William) Roberts, Rhinelander; my son, Rich (Shannon) Van Den Heuvel, Rhinelander; and Bruce's children, Jessica and Eric, Mike and Sarah, and David and Danielle, and their children; Bruce's siblings, Jeff Van Dreel, Todd Van Dreel, Doug and Nancy Van Dreel, George and Lynda Van Dreel, John and Jenny Van Dreel, Michelle Van Dreel, and Bruce's father, John and Kathleen; and the Van Den Heuvel family, who always treated me as part of the family and many nieces and nephews.
I am also survived by the pride and joy of my life, my granddaughters, Emma Kay Roberts, who I affectionately called "Rose Bud"; and Willow Rhiana Van Den Heuvel, who I affectionately called "Daisy May". My "adopted daughter", Kim and her parents, Bill and Pat; and by Gracie, our feline pet.
I was preceded in death by my grandparents; my father, John Powell; brother-in-law, Steve Spaude; sister-in-law, Linda Powell; many other family members and friends; and my former husband, Dick Van Den Heuvel.
I want to thank my friends from Kar's Place for all their support and prayers. I want to thank my neighbors, especially, Helen Baldwin, for all her thoughts and prayers. I thank Bonnie and Bob from J.R.'s for bringing me into their family of friends. I thank my little buddy, Olivia for always putting a smile on my face when I'd see her. She will always hold a special place in my heart.
After retiring from the bar, Bruce would take me to Rhinelander to spend a week or two with the kids and never once did he complain about bringing me there or picking me up. (I don't think he trusted my driving).
I will miss swinging in my swing, listening to the fountain on the deck and watching Bruce working around the garage. My heart breaks knowing I won't be with my kids and grandkids, but I also know we will see each other again someday. I finally got the deck and yard I always dreamed of and wish I would have had more time to enjoy it.
I had a good life, good friends and a wonderful family. Remember all the good times we had together. I thank all the nurses, doctors, friends, relatives, neighbors and everyone else who thought of me and my family during this difficult time. Special thanks to Unity Hospice for all their help.
Most of all, I thank Bruce and the kids for standing by me, and my girls for their unconditional love and for every kiss and hug and smile they put on my face.
I'm not saying good-bye, just that I'll see you again someday.
(Jo and Rich, take care of yourselves and take care of my girls. I love you - Mom)
(Bruce, I will always love you - Kar)
Friends may call at Blaney Funeral Home, 1521 Shawano Ave., from 4 to 7 p.m. Thursday, June 26. A Memorial Service will be held at 7 p.m. Thursday at the Funeral Home with Rev. Steve Fewell officiating. Burial will be in Fort Howard Memorial Park. To send online condolences, please go to www.BlaneyFuneralHome.com.
Blaney Funeral Home
1521 Shawano Ave.
Green Bay, WI 54303
Published in Green Bay Press-Gazette from June 25 to June 27, 2014