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Karen M. Gaestel (1936 - 2011)

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Karen M. Gaestel, age 75, Lakewood, WI, died at her residence with her loving husband at her side on November 29, 2011.

She was born February 20, 1936 in Manitowoc County, daughter of Rinehart and Irene (Johnsrud) Peppler. Karen attended Manitowoc Lincoln High School, graduating with the class of 1954. She was baptized and confirmed at St. Paul Evangelical Lutheran Church of Manitowoc and on September 1, 1956 married Melvin H. Gaestel at St. Paul's. Karen was an active church member at St. Mark Evangelical Lutheran Church, Green Bay, as a Sunday school teacher, member of the choir and Ladies Guild. In 1978 Karen graduated from NWTC with a LPN degree and was employed by Dr. Bernard Waldkirch of the De Pere Clinic for 10 years. In retirement, she and Mel were "snowbirds" and spent the winter months in Lake Placid, FL and were members of New Life Lutheran Church, Sebring, FL.

Karen enjoyed crocheting and baking special treats for her family. Through her actions she taught us unconditional love, genuine kindness and unwavering support. Her greatest love and joy was her family, especially time spent with her grandchildren.

Survivors include her loving husband of 55 years, Mel of Lakewood, WI; three daughters and sons-in-law: Gail (Brian) Anderson of Oroville, WA; Joanne (Scott) Phillips of Lakeland, FL; Julie (Kris) Woelfel of New Holstein, WI; two sons and one daughter-in-law: Randy Gaestel of Manitowoc, WI; Jim (Patti) Gaestel of Seymour, WI. She is further survived by 9 grandchildren: Greg Anderson, Doug Anderson, Jacqueline (Gaestel) Silva, James (fiancé Katie) Gaestel, Crystal Gaestel, Jonathan (fiancé Sarah Beth) Gaestel, Sarah Gaestel, Jacob Woelfel and Alyssa Woelfel; 6 great-grandchildren; Robert, Danielle, Dyllan, Kadence, Landon, Alexander; one sister, Eileen (Vernon) Jorgensen; two sisters-in-law; Sylvia Eberhardt and Caroline Schwalbe; two brothers-in-law; George Gaestel and Arnold Gaestel. Nieces, nephews, other relatives and special friends.

In addition to her parents, Karen was preceded in death by one sister, Rhoda Antal, two sisters-in-law; Althea Gaestel and Lorraine Gaestel; two brothers-in-law; Earl Schwalbe and Allen Eberhardt and one granddaughter Margaret Jean Gaestel.

Funeral services will be held at 11:00 a.m. on Monday, December 5, 2011 at St. Paul Evangelical Lutheran Church, 2601 S. 10th St., Manitowoc, WI. Officiating the service will be Rev. Brian Staude with burial at Evergreen Cemetery, Manitowoc. The family will greet relatives and friends at St. Paul Evangelical Lutheran Church from 9:00 to 10:45 a.m. on Monday, December 5, 2011.

The Pfeffer Funeral Home, Manitowoc is assisting the family with funeral arrangements.

The family wishes to thank Unity Hospice, for their excellent and compassionate care of our beloved wife, mother and grandmother. Memorials and other expressions of sympathy donations may be sent to Unity Hospice Care 2366 Oak Ridge Circle, DePere, WI 54115 or St. Paul Evangelical Lutheran Church, Manitowoc or New Life Lutheran Church, Sebring, FL.

Published in Manitowoc Herald Times Reporter on Dec. 1, 2011
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Pfeffer Funeral Home
928 South 14th Street Manitowoc, WI 54220
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