Weather Forecast


Karen LaRae Marthaler

Karen LaRae


One of eight kids, Karen L. Marthaler, 79, born in Huntington, UT in 1938 to Alferd and Ila Jensen, has passed away of kidney, heart and lung disease. Mom spent the last months at home under the care of her family with the help of Lakeland Hospice. Karen was married in 1972 to Shorty Marthaler (deceased 2008). They managed the Mountain View Estates in Detroit Lakes for many years, lived on Saur Lake near the public access and enjoyed the critters that were always around the lake.

Mom raised 5 little peppers outside of Bemidji area with George Pepper (deceased 1977). She was one of the first women to work at Kenfield's lumber company in Bemidji, MN, building wooden ammo boxes for the Vietnam War.

She worked multiple jobs to support her family as a single parent and was proud when she began her career as a USDA Poultry Grader, retiring in 1999. The Senior Companion Program was one of her favorite activities. She helped many seniors and made many friends. Mom liked bird watching, gardening, reading, crocheting, looming, visiting with family and friends but most of all to joke and laugh, keeping life interesting.

Mom is survived by her 2 daughters, Leah (Keith) Watkins of Erhard, MN and Sue Pepper of Laughlin, NV. She had 3 sons, the oldest, John, is living in Hutchinson, MN. Mom has 2 sisters, 1 brother, 10 grandchildren, 23 great-grandchildren and her beloved pet Yapper. There will be a celebration of life at her home in Erhard, MN at 12:00 p.m. on Sat. September 16th.

Online memories and condolences may be shared at