Karleen I. Tomsche, age 83 of Albany, died peacefully surrounded by family on Thursday, November 7, 2019 at the St. Cloud Hospital in St. Cloud, Minnesota.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be 11 a.m. Saturday, November 16 at Seven Dolors Catholic Church in Albany with Rev. Edward Vebelun, O.S.B. officiating and Rev. Julius Beckermann, O.S.B concelebrating. Interment will be in the parish cemetery.
Visitation will be from 4 to 8 p.m. Friday and from 9:45 to 10:45 a.m. Saturday at Seven Dolors Gathering Area in Albany. Parish prayers will be held at 4 p.m. followed by Christian Mothers at 7 p.m. Friday evening at the Seven Dolors Gathering Area.
Karleen Ida Thelen was born December 10, 1935 to Joseph and Anna (Haehn) Thelen. Karleen was born and raised on the Thelen family farm near St. Martin. She attended a one room schoolhouse near the farm through the 8th grade. Later in her school years she assisted her teacher and helped make the school lunch. Karleen stepped into a caregiver role helping to raise her four younger siblings after her Dad died when she was 19. Karleen’s first job away from home was a housekeeping job in St. Cloud. After a few months, she moved back home and enjoyed helping her sister in Albany with housework and her young children. During this time, the neighbor boy, Ray, caught Karleen’s eye, and their courtship began. Ray and Karleen were united in marriage on May 22, 1957 at St. Martin Catholic Church in St. Martin. The couple took over and lived on the Tomsche Family farm, which became a century farm in 1992, and still is in the family name to this day.
Karleen enjoyed gardening, quilting, and baking. As a young wife she cooked and baked large meals to feed threshing crews. She raised and butchered chickens to contribute to the farm income, had a cake decorating business, and worked outside the home in various jobs. She also sewed many of her children’s clothes. Karleen was a devoted and committed wife, mother, grandmother, sister, and friend. She also held a special place in the hearts of her nieces and nephews and will be deeply missed.
Throughout the years of raising their children, they enjoyed many family trips. Ray and Karleen continued traveling during their retirement visiting nearly every state. They loved seeing the mountains and visiting their children that lived out of state. Karleen loved spending time with her family, especially her grandchildren.
Karleen was a member of Seven Dolors Catholic Church in Albany, and a member of Christian Mothers for over 50 years. She volunteered for the church bazaar and was the Dressing Committee chairperson for many years. She was also active in the quilting group at church. She and Ray delivered Meals on Wheels for 27 years. For over 50 years she was a member and leader of her local TOPS (Take Off Pounds Sensibly) chapter. Karleen was a musician. She played the piano, and in her younger years, she played accordion in a band with four of her brothers. She also enjoyed taking an occasional trip to the casino.
Survivors include her children, Peter (Elizabeth) Tomsche of St. Joseph, Paul (Michelle) Tomsche of Avon, Joann Tomsche (Doug Baysore) of La Quinta, California, John (Christine) Tomsche of Marietta, Georgia, Rosann (Greg) Winn of Fort Collins, Colorado, and Michelle Tomsche of Denver, Colorado; 14 grandchildren; sister and brothers, Estelle Schwinghammer of Albany, Mark (Evelyn) Thelen of Melrose, Joseph (Renee) Thelen of St. Martin; sisters-in-law, Marion Thelen of St. Martin, Arlene Green of Paynesville, and Roseann Hemmesch of St. Martin; and brother-in-law, Ben Lass of St. Cloud.
Karleen was preceded in death by her husband, Ray Tomsche on October 1, 2018; her parents; brothers and sister, Bob Thelen, Fred Thelen, Leon Thelen, Virginia Thelen, and Clifford Thelen; brother-in-law, Val Schwinghammer; and sister-in-law, Dolores Thelen.
Serving as casket bearers will be Stanton Tomsche, Ryan May, Mitchell Tomsche Biley, Evan Tomsche Biley, Paul Michael Tomsche II, and Jonathan Tomsche. Cross bearer will be Kelsey Thelen and scripture bearer will be Jovan Tomsche. Readers will be DeAnna Hodge, Courtney May, Emily Winn and Rachel Tomsche. Gift bearers will be Anna Winn, Karlee Tomsche, and Nasia Tomsche.
In lieu of flowers, memorials are preferred.
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