Karen Ann Lewis
June 12 1940 - September 21 2017 - Age 77

Karen Ann Lewis (Peterson) let go peacefully and easily in Phoenix, Arizona on September 21, 2017 with her beloved daughters, Sage and Stephanie, holding hands with her and singing her on her way.

Karen was born on June 12, 1940 in Brainerd, Minnesota and came into this world like a firecracker. In her early years in Northern Minnesota, Karen was often found swimming in White Sand Lake, playing piccolo in the marching band, practicing piano for competition, and finding creative and colorful solutions to youthful problems.

Karen entered and graduated from the Minnesota School of Business. At the same time, Karen also fell madly in love at a piano bar in Hopkins, MN with a man wearing a black suit and tie named Michael Lewis. They spent 20 years together – singing, laughing, playing, learning, growing and healing. For many years, Karen and Mike were a source of support for unwed mothers, and mothers in need, for Lutheran Social Services.

Karen was a whiz at writing shorthand and could type faster than most people could speak. She could also speak the entire alphabet backwards and passed that important skill down to her daughters.

Karen spent her entire career of 45 years as an office manager for various law firms in Madison, Wisconsin - dedicating her heart, soul, sense of humor and impeccable organizational skills for the sake of justice. In everything she did, she went above and beyond.

Karen spent her retirement years in the Gilbert/Mesa area where she shared her joy and light while navigating many health issues with grace and Buddha-like nature. She was often seen riding her scooter around the Citadel Senior Living Community with a huge smile on her face. She liked to go fast! Karen was a glass half full person, generous of heart and a veracious reader of crime and mystery fiction. Karen loved to “kibbitz”, and would do anything to make someone else smile.

Karen will be most remembered for her ear to ear smile, her quick and sharp wit, her impressive tenacity and unending patience and her amazing ability to make just about anyone find rays of sunshine on a cloudy day. She will be dearly missed.

She is survived by her daughters, Stephanie K. Frank of Mesa, AZ and Sage K. Lewis (James Schattauer) of Fairfax, CA, her sister Susan Odegard (Robert), brother David Peterson (Betsy), cousin David Clynes, uncle William Clynes, nephews Derek Odegard (Meredith), Damon Odegard (Katie), Andrea Alcorn (Josh) and Emily Peterson. She is preceded in death by her grandparents, her former husband, Michael Lewis, and her parents Fern Anderson and Carl Peterson. She is also survived by an adopted son, James D. Lewis in Madison, WI and a foster daughter Bonnie (Bob) Jackson in Cross Plains, WI.

A Celebration of Life will be held on October 22 at 2pm at the Citadel (Desert Rose Room), 444 South Higley Road, Mesa, AZ 85206.

Phoenix, AZ (current)
Brainerd, MN (birthplace)
Washington High School
Brainerd, MN
Class of 1958

There are not yet any condolences for this obituary.

Be the first

Bob Lindberg
As a high school classmate of Karen's, it saddens me to learn of her passing. Although I did not see Karen again after graduation, I remember her well--upbeat and much fun to be around. My thoughts are with her family.
James Schattauer
So honored to have known Karen with her humor, childlike spirit and ability to accept 'what is.' I take consolation in being able to bask in the light of her daughters that carry her many gifts forward in to the world. May your grief be shared and sweet memories abound!