Karen F. Kennison, age 79 of Monroe, died Sunday, November 28, 2021 at the Monroe Clinic Hospital. She was born on December 17, 1941 in Monroe, the daughter of Robert and Frances (Jones) Leuenberger. She graduated from Monroe High School in 1960 and was united in marriage to Edward L. Kennison on June 4, 1961 at the New Apostolic Church.
Karen owned and operated Karen’s Kiddie Kamp for over 50 years and spent her life caring for and nurturing more than 250 daycare children, many from their infancy until they were old enough to begin after school programs. Among these were all 7 of her grandchildren who got the opportunity to share each day with Grandma and multiple generations of children from the same families. Karen welcomed more than her daycare children into her home though – she always left the door open for any family member or friend to stop by, and for any of her three children’s friends who needed love and a place to feel at home.
Spending more than 50 years of their lives together, Karen and her late husband Ed were always seen together and spent much of their free time in the service of others. Together they served as members of the Green County EMS for 17 years, supported the advancement of 50 young men to the rank of Eagle Scout, and delighted in transforming into Santa Clause and Elf Karen to deliver presents to children who had to spend Christmas Eve in the hospital.
During her years in scouting and involvement with Troop 115 of Monroe, Karen was committed to the continued mentorship of youth and was a highly awarded troop leader. She earned the Scouter Training Award, the Scouter Key, the District Award of Merit, Wood Badge, Vigil member for Order of the Arrow, the Silver Beaver Award, and one of two Honorary Eagle Scout Recognition Awards.
Loving to travel the country by motorcycle in their younger years, Karen took in all but five of the continental United States with Ed on their cherry red cycle, Scarlett. She enjoyed crocheting, dancing, especially with the Stateline Square Dancers, singing with the Swiss Singers later in life, and attending every one of her grandchildren’s sporting events and performances. Karen was also an active member of the New Apostolic Church in Monroe & Beloit her entire life.
Karen is survived by her significant other, Larry Leopold of Monroe; children, Robert (LaVera) Kennison, Michael (Darlene) Kennison both of Monroe, and Rhonda (Dan) Lewis of Brodhead; seven grandchildren, Morgan Kennison, Craig Kennison, Alex (Kelsi) Kennison, Abby (Taylor) Pritzl, Dr. Dana Lewis, DJ (Sarah) Lewis, and Dane Lewis, one great-granddaughter, Evan Kennison; two sisters-in-law Vickie Leuenberger of Brodhead and Jeanne Leuenberger of FL, and several nieces and nephews.
She was preceded in death by her parents; husband, Ed in 2011; and brothers Henry and Ken Leuenberger.
Funeral Services will be held at 11:00 AM on Saturday, December 4, 2021 at SHRINER HAGER-GOHLKE Funeral Home with Jon Taylor officiating. A visitation will be held on Friday, December 3, 2021 from 4:00 – 7:00 PM at the funeral home.
A memorial fund is being established in Karen’s name. Condolences may be offered to the family at: shriner111.com.