Karen H Fremstad, October 10, 1939 - October 25, 2018

Karen H Fremstad
Karen H Fremstad
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Karen H. Fremstad, 79, of Eau Claire, passed away peacefully on the morning of October 25, 2018 after a courageous six year struggle with cancer.

Karen was born on October 10, 1939, to Harold and Irene (Rud) Johnson, the third of nine children.  She graduated from Mondovi High School in 1957 and attended Eau Claire Technical College earning a degree in business.  

It was while working for Cecil Bede, Dean of the Eau Claire Technical College that Karen met her future husband Richard (Dick) Fremstad.  Karen and Dick were married on June 20, 1959 at Drammen Lutheran Church in rural Eleva, WI.  They had a daughter, Dayna, in 1960.  They enjoyed 59 wonderful years of marriage, a number Dick said “just wasn’t long enough.”  

They lived for a short time in Osseo, WI and Appleton, WI and settled in Waupaca, WI where they resided until 1984.  They built a new home in Stevens Point and remained there until Dick retired in 1996 when they moved to Eau Claire to be closer to family.

Karen is survived by her loving husband Dick, daughter Dayna (Jon) Smith, granddaughter Lindsey Borsheim and fiancé Rob Jensen, granddaughter Kelsey Borsheim, sisters Yvonne (Ron) Nixdorf, Ardis Olson, Sonja (Chuck) Scharf, Jone (Warren) Miller, brothers David (Linda) Johnson, John (Lois) Johnson, Mike Johnson, sister in law Rosemary Rutledge and many nieces and nephews.  

She was preceded in death by her parents Irene and Harold Johnson, her mother and father in law Pearl and Palmer Fremstad, her brother Peter Johnson, her brothers in law David Rutledge and Haakon Olson and her niece Connie Rutledge.

Karen was an avid reader who inspired her daughter’s love of reading by taking frequent trips to the library in Waupaca.  She was a beautiful seamstress creating many items for their home and for her daughter, granddaughters and herself.  She was also a wonderful cook and baker who loved making food and treats for her family to enjoy.  She was a member of the Altar Guild at First Congregational Church for many years.

She and Dick enjoyed frequent trips up north sightseeing and hiking in the woods.  They also took yearly trips to Arizona every spring to visit his sister, Rosemary, who always said Karen was like the sister she never had.  She also enjoyed spending time at Panera with her coffee group.  Karen touched so many lives that we’re sorry if we’ve forgotten anyone.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be directed to the American Cancer Society, www.cancer.org, or to First Congregational United Church of Christ, www.firstucceauclaire.org.

Funeral service will take place at 11 a.m. on Wednesday, October 31, 2018 at First Congregational United Church of Christ, 310 Broadway Street, Eau Claire, with Rev. Dr. Mark X. Pirazzini officiating.  Visitation will take place at the church from 9:30 a.m. until the time of service. Inurnment will take place at a later date.

Friends and family may offer condolences online at www.hulkefamilyfh.com.

Hulke Family Funeral Home & Cremation Services, 3209 Rudolph Road, Eau Claire, WI 54701 is assisting the family with the arrangements.


  1. Eran Colbus November 5, 2018

    Always loved seeing you and Dick at the Fremstad Family get togethers. Thank you for those memories, and smiles.

  2. Patty Chambers October 28, 2018

    An aunt on my dad's side, Karen, like all my aunts, was always welcoming and friendly when seeing her and Dick at family gatherings when I was growing up.
    And in recent years too, when running into Dick and Karen occasionally when doing our local grocery run in Eau Claire (:
    We will miss her, and we extend our deepest sympathies.

  3. Ron and Mary Keezer October 27, 2018

    So sorry to hear of Karen's passing. She was such a kind person. We always enjoyed our visits at Panera and the phone calls. We will send a memorial to the American Cancer society.
    Please accept our sincere condolences.