Karen Sue Schwingle

February 26, 1953 - November 25, 2022


Obituary For Karen Sue Schwingle

MADISON – Karen Sue Schwingle, age 69, was reunited with her Heavenly Father on November 25, 2022.

Karen was born in Wauwatosa, Wisconsin on February 26, 1953, daughter of Horace and Dorothy (Guetschow) Ross.

Upon graduating from Monona Grove High School in 1971, Karen attended Madison Area Technical College, succeeding in a near 40-year career with the Wisconsin Technical College System.

In 1980, Karen became a mother with the birth of her daughter, Nicole. Karen’s second daughter, Kristin, was born in 1986.

Karen is survived by her daughters, Nicole (Randy) Heallen and Kristin; grandchildren, Anabel, Ava, Blake and Jonah; sister, Diane (Larry) Alward; and brothers, Richard and Michael (Maureen) Koch;. She is further survived by numerous nephews, family and friends.

In life, Karen was undoubtedly one-of-a-kind. A strong, resilient, and compassionate mother, sister, and friend, Karen filled the hearts of those who knew her with her unwavering love and affection.

Kind-hearted and fun-spirited, Karen will be remembered as a compassionate and dependable friend. Karen truly cherished the relationships she formed in life and beamed in the company of those who were near and dear to her.

Among her many adorning qualities, Karen was a gifted painter and avidly sought adventure. Her imaginative nature was unmistakable and radiated through many of her works of art. In her travels, Karen was also blessed to experience some of the most beautiful scenery the world has to offer.

Karen’s love and dedication to her children and grandchildren was unparalleled and impossible to define by words alone. To her children, Karen was many things: resilient and tenacious; selfless and sacrificing; caring and kind.

A memorial service will be held at 12:00 PM NOON on Friday, December 9, 2022 at ABIDING SHEPHERD LUTHERAN CHURCH, 406 West Cottage Grove Road, Cottage Grove.

To view and sign this guestbook, please visit:

Ryan Funeral Home & Cremation Servies
2418 N. Sherman Avenue


9 Dec

Funeral Service

12:00 PM - 01:00 PM

Abiding Shepherd Lutheran Church 406 West Cottage Grove Road Cottage Grove, WI 53527 Get Directions »
by Obituary Assistant

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  • 12/09/2022

    Nicole, Kristin, Diane, & Larry, I was sorry to hear about Karen. You have my sympathy. Dale Volkman

  • 12/05/2022

    To Karen's family, Sending wishes of peace and comfort at this sad time. I was fortunate to get to know Karen from being neighbors at Twin Oaks. I am sure going to miss our conversations....she sure made me laugh. I wish she would have had more time, but I know she fought a good fight and was so happy for all the time she had with all of you. I am so sorry for your great loss. My deepest sympathy, Karen Wheeler

  • 12/02/2022

    You were the best friend anyone could have. We had alot of fun times I cherish all of them. I left Madison 1973 for Colorado and we still kept in touch all these years I will miss your texts. You are now at peace you fought like a trooper until the end but God saw you were tired and took you home. You are with the angels now Karen. I love you Karen thanks for the memories! Ann

  • 12/02/2022

    My deepest sympathy to Karen's daughters and grandchildren. Your mom was a special lady. May you know your mom will always be by your side and in your hearts. With deepest sympathy and prayers.

  • 12/01/2022

    My condolences to Karen's family and friends. I had the pleasure of working with Karen at the System Office. She was a wonderful colleague who along with Donna Jordan and Debbie Parker, made our jobs so much easier and more enjoyable to do. She cared deeply about her work and her co-workers. And it was always obvious to us that her family was the most important aspect of her life. Her ultimate job was to be a good mother and grandmother. May she rest forever in peace. Dan Clancy

  • 11/30/2022

    Sorry for the loss of Karen! She was my husband Stanley's neice. We were so happy to get the opportunity to get to know her even for a short time! Gods blessings & peace to all of you!🙏.🙏

  • 11/30/2022

    I'm so blessed that I got to meet and know Karen. She is the sister I didn't even know about until I was 55. Long story with a semi happy ending. Happy that we got to meet and hang out for a week, sad because now she is gone. We will all miss her on this Earth, but God in heaven is celebrating her arrival. Miss you, LOVE you always big sis.Your little Brother Michael

  • 11/30/2022

    Nicki and family, Kristin and Blake, what a beautiful tribute to your mom/grandma. I loved seeing her paintings, so talented. I'm glad I got to know her throughout the years. I am so terribly sorry for your loss. I know the pain is immeasurable and you will think of her every day. Hugs and prayers to all of you, Cheryl Griesbach

  • 11/30/2022

    Meeting Karen June 4th for the very first time after face book and text and calls we met thankfully thru persistence and ancestry DNA she and my husband Michael matched and our lives were complete we had the best week of our lives when we met and had a awesome bond wish we had more time but she touched out lives and we love her so much and will miss her rest in peace my dear sister in law LOVE YOU Maureen and Michael Koch

  • 11/29/2022

    I worked with Karen at WTSB and had the joy and pleasure of reconnecting with her later in life over our mutual love for Gluten Free sweets. I'll remember her fondly and will continue to bake her favorites to honor her memory. She was a beautiful and kind soul. Rest easy, Karen. 💐 Linda

  • 11/29/2022

  • 11/29/2022

    Our hearts are broken for those who worked at WTCSB with our friend Karen. We will miss that beautiful smile. Paula and friends❤️😇


  • French Garden

    French Garden was sent for Karen Sue Schwingle - December 07, 2022

  • Pastel Harmony

    Sharon Spangberg sent Pastel Harmony for Karen Sue Schwingle - December 05, 2022

    We will miss fun times together with you! From: Donna Jordan and Sharon Spangberg

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what our families say

Tiffany Foster went out of her way to fulfill all my requests, talked me through problems I was facing, and tried to make me feel as comfortable as possible when I was a wreck, totally crushed, and I thank her with all of my heart for that.

James S. | July 2020

The professional manner of the staff made a difficult time a little easier.

Lynda R. | July 2020

Services provided for both parents were perfect, on time, and no issues. Brenda is awesome and strong!

Michael M. | July 2020

Skyler was absolutely amazing. She was so caring and helpful through this whole process. She even went above and beyond to meet with us in DeForest and even to make a stop at our home to drop off or pick up anything needed. While it was a small gesture, it was so helpful and greatly appreciated.

Brooke S. | Dec. 2020

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