Karen Lynn (Schwebs) Sorenson, 80, of Kenosha died Saturday, January 15, 2022, at St. Catherine’s Hospital in Kenosha, Wisconsin.
Karen, daughter of the late Muriel and Arthur Schwebs, was born December 30th 1941, in Detroit, Michigan. As a toddler she moved with her family to Windsor, Wisconsin where she grew up with brothers Lee and Roger on the family’s Willow Brook Farm. Upon graduation from high school, Karen attended UW-Madison graduating with a Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree. She then worked as a visiting nurse in the Madison area.
In June, 1964 she married Paul Sorenson. They made their home in Kenosha and had two children, Kristen and Erika (Brad) Behling, before divorcing. Karen worked for 36 years as a nursing instructor at Gateway Technical College fostering hundreds of students through the program, many who still cite her as an inspiration for the work they do. She returned to school at UW-Milwaukee where she received her Master of Science degree in nursing.
Karen was a powerhouse in and outside of the classroom, volunteering over the years with many organizations. She was the general leader of the Roosevelt Rascals 4H club, volunteered with the Red Cross, tutored Kenosha children in a reading program at Vernon School and raised 15 dogs as a puppy raiser for Canine Companions for Independence. After her retirement, she served as Parish Nurse at First Presbyterian Church in Kenosha where she also previously served as Elder and Deacon, sang in the choir, played with the bell choir, coordinated countless blood drives, and acted as all around shoulder to lean on.
She was a strong and independent woman who enjoyed traveling with family and friends and who wasn’t afraid to share her progressive political viewpoints. Most importantly, though, she deeply loved her family who will forever be indebted to her for the tireless support she provided. They all drove each other a littlebit nuts but the fierceness of their love for each other will always abide.
Karen was cherished and will be sorely missed by brother Lee (Jill), daughters Kristen and Erika, granddaughters Alyssa and Harper, and by her favorite (and only) son-in-law, Brad. They will miss her unfailing love, wicked sense of humor, ability to get them to laugh just by saying a certain word, and her uncanny ability to find a song to fit every occasion.
The family wishes to thank the nursing and CNA staff of St. Catherine’s Hospital along with Drs. Chua, Badrudduja, and Campagna-Gibson for the kind and compassionate care provided even as they cope with the stress and burnout experienced as the pandemic lingers.