Cover photo for Karen Schendel's Obituary
Karen Schendel Profile Photo
1948 Karen 2023

Karen Schendel

March 19, 1948 — June 27, 2023


Karen Ann Schendel, age 75, formerly of Stephen, MN, and most recently Fargo, ND, died June 27, 2023, at Bethany on 42nd in Fargo.

Karen Ann Stegman was born March 19, 1948, to Erhart and Erna (Wagner) Stegman in Altona, Manitoba, Canada, because it was the closest hospital to the family farm. Karen grew up on the family farm west of Neche, ND, and one mile south of the Canadian Border. 

Karen was baptized on April 25, 1948, at Christ Lutheran Church in Neche and was confirmed on April 29, 1962, also at Christ Lutheran Church.

Karen began her education at the Duprey rural school near her home.  When the school closed, she continued her education at the Neche School, graduating from Neche High School in 1966.  She continued her education at North Dakota State University, graduating in 1970, with a degree in Secondary Education. 

Karen taught history and German in the Waubun (MN) Public School.  She truly loved being a teacher and went out of her way to help students, especially those who had difficulty with school.

In 1977, a new, single pastor moved to Waubun.  The pastor planned to take a group of students to a National Youth Gathering in Kansas City.  It was her students who encouraged Karen to be the female chaperone for the Gathering.  Over the following months, Karen and the pastor traveled to several meetings to prepare for the Gathering.  They became friends. They dated. They fell in love. And, on June 20, 1981, Karen and Michael Schendel (the pastor) were united in marriage in a service at Walhalla Lutheran Church in Walhalla, ND.       

They were overjoyed to welcome into their family their two daughters, Elizabeth and Kathryn. Karen was able to be a stay-at-home mom.  This was a dream come true for her to be able to be a part of their lives every day as they grew.  When the girls were in school, she didn’t miss an opportunity to support her daughters by attending programs, plays, concerts, sporting events, science fairs or anything else in which they participated.

Karen returned to teaching as a part-time German teacher/tutor for the Stephen (MN) High School.  Once again, she took great joy in the few hours a week she was able to help students learn.

Once the girls were in school, Karen began working as the Volunteer Coordinator for the Stephen Living At Home/Block Nurse Program.  She took special delight in visiting with senior citizens to help them find the assistance they needed to continue to live safely in their homes.  She also wrote a weekly article for the local paper with information on what the program had to offer.

Karen seemed to always find time to volunteer as an advisor for the church youth groups, as a Sunday School teacher, Vacation Bible School teacher, the Church Women’s group, the GFWC Women’s Study Club, serving coffee, or helping to lead the Brownie Troop.

Karen enjoyed filling her free time by sewing, cooking, crafting, gardening both flowers and vegetables, hardanger, counted cross stitch and painting.

On July 1, 2004, Karen had a stroke which created major difficulties for her.  Following her hospitalization and rehabilitation therapy, Karen moved to Northstar Manor Nursing Home in Warren, MN.  In 2021, Karen moved to Bethany on 42nd in Fargo.

Karen is survived by her husband, Michael Schendel of Moorhead, MN; her two daughters, Elizabeth Furani of Minneapolis, MN, and Kathryn (Adam) Karsky of Langdon, ND; her grandchildren, Chiles, Remey, Rhett, Nyla and Aldryn; and many nieces and nephews, cousins and friends.

Karen was preceded in death by her parents,  Erhart and Erna Stegman; her father-in-law and mother-in-law,  Maynard and Delores Schendel; and numerous aunts, uncles and cousins.

The family would like to thank the staff of Northstar Manor, Bethany on 42nd, and Ethos Hospice for the love and care they have shown Karen and our family over the years.

Visitation for Karen will begin at 10 AM, followed by a funeral at 11 AM, Thursday, July 6, 2023, in The Lutheran Church of Christ the King, Moorhead.  Burial will take place in Christ Lutheran Cemetery, rural Neche.


To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Karen Schendel, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services


Thursday, July 6, 2023

10:00 - 11:00 am (Central time)

The Lutheran Church of Christ the King

1900 14th St S, Moorhead, MN 56560

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.

Funeral Service

Thursday, July 6, 2023

Starts at 11:00 am (Central time)

The Lutheran Church of Christ the King

1900 14th St S, Moorhead, MN 56560

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.


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