Cover photo for Karen Kay Vennink's Obituary
Karen Kay Vennink Profile Photo
1941 Karen 2019

Karen Kay Vennink

March 7, 1941 — July 7, 2019

     Karen Kay, daughter of Roland and Wynona (Dawson) King, was born March 7, 1941 at Gray, Iowa.  She graduated from Manning High School in 1959 and completed a business training program in Denver, Colorado.

     She married Jim Pruitt (1960) in Seattle, WA, and Allen Vennink (1967) in Manning. Both unions ended in divorce.  Her career was diverse in scope and geography, including United Airlines in San Francisco, CA, Bell Telephone in Seattle and Carroll, IA, and the U.S. Post Office in Gray, IA. She was also self-employed as a farmer and an auto and furniture upholsterer.

     Karen was multi-talented in countless ways, turning bolts of fabric into designer-caliber clothing, seat covers, curtains and more. She worked shoulder-to-shoulder with her father on the farm, while working full-time jobs in town. Her energy and determination were boundless, and she was capable of outworking anyone in a seed corn cap. There wasn’t a vegetable she couldn’t can or a fruit she couldn’t jam.  She was wildly hilarious and occasionally cantankerous, drawing a line in the sand in no uncertain terms. In a world that is often confusing, Karen let you know exactly where you stood.   She enjoyed good books, soft cats, big dogs, classic rock music, tasty meals and a good debate.

     Karen died suddenly and unexpectedly on Sunday, July 7, 2019 at her home in rural Audubon County. She was 78 years and 4 months of age.  She will be missed by everyone who enjoyed her quick wit and clever discussions.

     Karen is preceded in death by her parents, and a brother, Gary King (1990).  Survivors include her children and their spouses: Tamera (Sam) Schlueter of Hastings, NE, and Tom Vennink and Amy Haubrich of Manning; grandsons Brett (Cassie) Schlueter of Oklahoma City, OK, and Gregg (Rachel) Schlueter of Omaha, NE; great-grandchildren Nora and Otto of Omaha, and Gus of Oklahoma City; sister Charlotte Hopper of Storm Lake; brother Kenny King; and numerous nieces and nephews.


Alison Ohde River, Celebrant
Recorded Music

“Go Your Own Way” Fleetwood Mac

“Amazing Grace”     “Take It Easy” Eagles


Brian Bruch      Mike Bruch       Pete Joens
Roger Wagner      Bret Haubrich     Austin Haubrich

Honorary Casketbearers

Randy Bruch    Dusty Bruch    Eric Fara    Russell Bruhn



Manning Cemetery, Manning, Iowa

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