Karen Mae Griese, 77, of Frederick, Maryland, died on Saturday, May 16, 2020 at The John Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore, MD following an 8-year battle with cancer.
Funeral services will be at 11:00 a.m., Saturday, May 23, 2020 at Emmanuel Lutheran Church, Gettysburg, SD, with Pastor David Otten presiding. Burial will follow at the Onida Cemetery with military honors.
Karen was born on August 13, 1942 in Lodi, CA to Oscar and Esther (Buechler) Joachim. They returned to South Dakota where she was raised on their family farm near Agar with her two brothers and sister. After graduating as co-salutatorian from Agar High School in 1960, she attended South Dakota State University where she obtained her Bachelor of Science in Nursing in 1964.
She married Donald Griese of Gettysburg SD on March 21, 1964 and from this union they were blessed with their four children: Kevin, Kari, Dale, and Darren. They lived in Rapid City, Pollock and McLaughlin before settling in Highmore, South Dakota where they raised their children. During her time in SD she had the opportunity to work in various fields throughout her nursing career from Hospitals, Community Health and Nursing Home Director, in addition to serving as a nurse with the SD Air National Guard. Karen and Don then moved to Prescott Valley, AZ in October 1988 where she finished her 20 year military career and continued her nursing career working in the County Correctional Facility which became her favorite job and ended her 41 year career as a Home Health nurse. She moved to be with Kari and Kevin in Frederick, MD in December 2012 in order to start care at The Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore, MD. Throughout her treatment she would return when possible to her home in Prescott Valley, AZ, and to stay with Dale and Lisa in Tempe, AZ and visit family. Few people knew the extent to which she struggled; however, her determination and fight kept her pushing through the pain.
Karen is survived by her children, Kevin (Michelle) Griese, of Pierre, SD; Kari (Kevin) Oakes of Frederick, MD; Dale (Lisa) Griese of Tempe, AZ; and Darren (Andrea) Griese of Pierre, SD; ten grandchildren; seven great-grandchildren; siblings: Edith Falkenhagen of Agar, SD, Roger Joachim of Agar, SD, and Kent (Kay) Joachim of Gettysburg, SD; in addition to a host of nieces, nephews, and cousins for which she was grateful they were a part of her life.
Karen was preceded in death by her loving husband of 39 years, Don; parents, Oscar and Esther (Buechler) Joachim; and brother-in-law, Kenny Falkenhagen.
Luce Funeral Home of Gettysburg has been entrusted with Karen’s arrangements. (www.familyfuneralhome.net)