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Karen Gadow, 79

Karen Ardell Gadow, 79, died January 4, 2014, at her apartment in Grand Arbor in Alexandria.

Karen was born in Alexandria on April 20, 1934, the daughter of C. Al and Ardell (Yates) Michaelson. Karen graduated from Central High School in Alexandria in 1952, where she was crazy about being a cheerleader and participating in all areas of music. Following her high school graduation, Karen enrolled and graduated from the Minnesota School of Business with a degree in bookkeeping.

On February 12, 1954, Karen was united in marriage to Frank Gadow, whom she would describe as her high school basketball star. The couple resided in Minneapolis before moving to Great Falls, MT and then back to Alexandria. Karen worked for various businesses as a bookkeeper, much of her time with Buttrey Foods in Montana, and Hustad's Implement in Alexandria.

Karen was a loyal volunteer for St. Mary's school and church as well as the Alexandria community. She loved music and played the organ and piano for church services as well as membership in the Daughters of Isabella. She began the Friendship Singers Choir at St. Marys Church in 1975. Karen was also a member of the American Legion Auxiliary. Seeing a need for indoor ice sports, Karen was instrumental in spearheading the idea and design of the Runestone Community Center as well as the founder and first president of the Alexandria Figure Skating Club.

She was a fun loving woman with a big heart and a loyal friend to all. She loved to knit and enjoyed gifting her hand-knit baby sweaters to friends and family. Her sense of humor was undeniable. And, if you were lucky enough, you probably enjoyed her infamous chocolate candies!

Karen Gadows legacy cannot be told in these paragraphs. She was an active volunteer, devoted wife and mother and a tremendous friend. She loved life and imparted her kind and generous nature on all she met. Her fun-loving spirit and sense of humor will be forever remembered. She will be missed by all who knew and loved her.

She is survived by her children, Cheri White of Eden Prairie, Mike (Claudia) Gadow of Prior Lake, Carol (Tim) Ellison of Carlos, and Lori (Paul) Larson of Dallas, TX; grandchildren, Lindsey (Andy) Peterson, Alison White and fianc Kyle Marshall, Stephanie (Kevin) Evers, Brooke Ellison, Taylor Ellison, Nicholas Larson, Justin Larson and Ryan Larson; sister, Betty (Ervin) McWilliams of Alexandria; cousins and many nieces and nephews.

Karen was preceded in death by her parents; husband, Frank Gadow; sister, Mickey Tilleskjor; and her beloved dog, Missy.

A Memorial Mass will be held Friday, January 10 at 2 p.m. at St. Marys Catholic Church in Alexandria with the Rev. Stephen Binsfeld officiating.

Inurnment will be at St. Marys Cemetery Mausoleum in Alexandria with all the grandchildren serving as honorary pallbearers.

Visitation is Thursday, January 9 from 4 to 7 p.m. with a 7 p.m. prayer service at Anderson Funeral Home and one hour prior to the service on Friday at the church.

Arrangements are with Anderson Funeral Home in Alexandria;