Karen was born on January 20, 1951 to Donald and Jean Denny of Hartley, Iowa. Growing up, Karen helped on the farm and tormented her younger brother Bruce. She began her education in a one room school house near the family farm and later completed her education in the Hartley school district. She then attended Spencer School of Business.
In 1969 Karen married Tom Manley and moved to Spencer, Iowa, where she made her life-long home. A few years later, they were blessed with their first daughter Teresa, followed by their daughter Lisa four years later. Karen always said motherhood was her favorite job.
When her daughters were older, Karen took a full time position with the Spencer Community School District. She started out in the high school administrative office, later moving to the guidance department and resource rooms, where she played the role of second mother to many students. After many years at SHS, Karen took a position as book store manager for the Spencer campus of Iowa Lakes Community College, from which she retired in 2017.
Karen enjoyed many hobbies, but crafting and gardening were her favorites. You couldn’t drive by her house without noticing one of her beautiful handmade wreaths hanging on the front door. Once she could get outside in the spring, she had her hands in the dirt planting vegetables or tending her flowers. When she wasn’t using her hands, Karen could be found enjoying nature walks around Stolley’s Pond.
Always a loving and caring mother, Karen’s family was the center of her life. She enjoyed her regular visits with her own mother, whom she considered her best friend. Karen also spent many hours in recent years attending her five grandchildren’s sporting events and supporting their musical and artistic endeavors.
She will be deeply missed by her daughters Teresa (Jeremy) Cauwels of Sioux Falls, SD and Lisa (Darin) Zitterich of Spencer, IA; grandchildren Gannon, Greyson, Kennedy, Jenna and Brooke; her mother, Jean Denny of Hartley, IA; her brother Bruce (Kathy) Denny of Hartley, IA and many nieces, nephews, aunts, uncles, cousins and friends. Karen passed away on January 17, 2019. She was preceded in death by her father, Donald Denny, and son-in-law Nathan Mart.
225 West 3rd Street • Spencer, IA 51301 • 712-262-3640 • Fax 712-262-1618