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“Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.” ~Matthew 5:4


“Next to love, sympathy is the divinest passion of the human heart” ~Edmund Burke

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"The creatures that inhabit this earth - be they human beings or animals - are here to contribute, each in its own particular way, to the beauty and prosperity of the world." ~The Dahli Lama

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“Love is a portion of the soul itself, and it is of the same nature as the celestial breathing of the atmosphere of paradise.” ~Victor Hugo

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“To live in hearts we leave behind is not to die.” ~Thomas Campbell

Zriny, Karen Photo

Karen J Zriny, age 69, of Schofield died on Sunday, March 26, 2017 at Aspirus Hospice House with her family at her side.

Karen was born in Manitowoc on May 27, 1947 to the late Roy and Beatrice (Rusch) Kramer. She graduated from Manitowoc High School and then went on to UW Oshkosh where she pursued her undergraduate degree in Education and masters in guidance and counseling. She married Jeffrey Zriny on August 16, 1969 in Manitowoc. Together they moved to the Wausau area in 1974 where Karen was employed first as a 4th grade teacher at Evergreen Elementary and then as a 7th grade English teacher at DC Everest Junior High and then to the D.C. Everest Middle school. Karen was a dedicated teacher who touched so many children’s lives. Former students would often share stories of how she influenced their lives by being patient and nurturing, treating everyone as a unique human being. Several of her former students became teachers. Karen was a member at Mt. Olive Lutheran Church and enjoyed playing tennis, golf, and bridge.

She enjoyed her children and grandchildren. She was happiest caring for her flowers, sitting on her pontoon on a nice summer evening with a glass of wine and enjoying conversation with friends on Lake Wausau. She was truly a person who enjoyed people, and cared deeply for them.

Karen is survived by her loving husband of 47 years, Jeff Zriny; children Lisa Zriny of Green Bay and Brett (Sara) Zriny of Seattle, WA; and grandkids Beck and Kenzie Zriny.
She is preceded in death by her parents Roy and Bea Kramer.

Funeral Service will be held at 11:00 am on Friday, March 31, 2017 at Mt. Olive Lutheran Church, 6205 Alderson St., Weston. The Rev. Lance Hoelscher will officiate. Burial will be at Restlawn Memorial Park. Visitation will take place from 4:00 pm – 7:00 pm on Thursday, March 30, 2017 at Mt. Olive Lutheran Church and again from 10:00 am until the time of the service at the church on Friday.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be directed to Mt. Olive Lutheran Church or Aspirus Hospice House.

The family would like to thank the PEO Sisters who brought sunshine into her life every week, the entire staff at TLC Home Care, especially Marie and Michelle, for the amazing care given to Karen, and the Aspirus Hospice House staff.

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  1. Lowanda Lee

    03/27/2017 at 2:15 pm

    Your family have my sincere condolences. But please know that God is aware of your pain, and he wants to comfort you at this difficult time. Philippians 4:6,7.

  2. John Durham

    03/27/2017 at 2:15 pm

    Jeff, Our thoughts and deepest sympathies are with you and your family at this difficult time. John and Peggy Durham

  3. Tim logemann

    03/27/2017 at 2:15 pm


    Our condolences on Karen’s passing.. God’s peace to you after this difficult journey

    Tim and Cari Logemann

  4. Marian Seagren Hall

    03/27/2017 at 2:15 pm

    I met Karen in American Association of University Women. Those of us who have belonged for decades remember working with her. She was always pleasant and dedicated to the mission of the organization, equality for women and girls. We have not succeeded completely, but do little by little.

  5. Craig Porter

    03/27/2017 at 2:15 pm

    So sorry for your loss. In deepest sympathy.

  6. Ruth Schuette

    03/27/2017 at 2:15 pm

    Oh, the fun we had on the tennis court!!! Karen was always laughing as she ran for the ball and didn’t show much mercy for the opponent. I also remember Karen as beautiful “outside” in her dress and grooming–such a fine example for all of us. My heartfelt condolences to the family as you share these times together. Fondly, Ruth (Rudie) Schuette

  7. Gary and Karen Tesch

    03/27/2017 at 2:15 pm

    Jeff, Karen and I are very sorry to learn of Karen’s passing. We always regarded you two as the “perfect” couple. Karen enjoyed visiting with your Karen very much and know how much you and your children will miss her. We know that the members of Mt. Olive will be there to show their love and support.

    If you need anything you know where to reach us.

  8. Yaj Yaaj

    03/27/2017 at 2:15 pm

    I am sorry! She was a wonderful and beautiful person inside and out!

  9. Maribeth Schulz

    03/27/2017 at 2:15 pm

    So sorry for your loss. Karen was such a wonderful and, caring teacher. I so enjoyed teaching with her at Evergreen. She will be missed.

  10. Dorothy Bain

    03/27/2017 at 2:15 pm

    My deepest sympathy to you, Jeff. I will always remember Karen as someone with so much lightheartedness. She was fun and it was always a pleasure to see her. May God’s grace give you healing and comfort.

  11. Fritz Riverón

    03/27/2017 at 2:15 pm

    Deepest condolences. May God grant you peace

  12. Jan Gottgetreu

    03/27/2017 at 2:15 pm


    Gregg and I were so sorry to hear about Karen! She was a special woman and we have great memories of her from way back! God Bless!

    Jan and Gregg Gottgetreu

  13. Richele Bohm

    03/27/2017 at 2:15 pm

    My deepest sympathy to her family and friends. Mrso. Zriny was a wonderful teacher and a kind and caring person. She will be missed.

  14. John Kelly

    03/27/2017 at 2:15 pm

    Dear Jeff and Family

    My deepest sympathies on Karen’s passing.

    May you experience God’s comfort and grace knowing that Laren is now at peace in her eternal home with Jesus.

    John and Jane Kelly

  15. Tom & Judi Wittkopf

    03/27/2017 at 2:15 pm

    Our deepest sympathies, Lisa, Jeff, Brett and family. Karen was a wonderful lady…so caring and thoughtful, and always smiling. And she was an outstanding teacher! We regret that we cannot pay our last respects in person, as we are in Arizona, but know that we will be thinking of you during this time of loss.
    Tom & Judi Wittkopf

  16. Karen Molash

    03/27/2017 at 2:15 pm

    My deepest condolences and sympathy to you and your family. Karen was such a lovely person.

    I remember meeting her for the first time and she was the one of the sweetest and most beautiful people I had ever met. I was so happy for you.

    My prayers are with you and hope that in time the memories will give you joy and peace.

    God Bless All Of You and give you strength during this difficult time.

    I think heaven just received another angel.

    In Christ,

    Karen Molash

  17. Margie and Dave Bosio

    03/27/2017 at 2:15 pm

    Karen was a good friend. I enjoyed golfing and playing Bridge with her. I will miss her. You are in our thoughts and prayers.


    03/27/2017 at 2:15 pm

    Dave and I are so very sorry for the loss of Karen and want to express our deepest sympathy to all the family. I didn’t know Karen as well as I would have liked to, but fortunately through our connection with PEO I did meet her. She is in a better place now, with GOD, and at peace. We will keep the family in our thoughts and prayers during this very difficult time they face.
    In Deepest Sympathy,

  19. Sheri Jehn

    03/27/2017 at 2:15 pm

    Our sympathies to you Jeff and your family. Karen was always so kind to her students and families.
    I’ll always remember her patience and smiles. Wishing you comfort and pleasant memories.

  20. Nikki Kopp

    03/27/2017 at 2:15 pm

    My deepest sympathies on the passing of Karen. Both my husband and I were lucky enough to have her as a teacher during our time in the D.C. Everest School District and as we talked about her passing last evening we both had the same comment “she was the best.” Karen cared so much for her students and personally I can say she saw potential in me and pushed me to try things that I never thought I was capable of. She truly was one of the best.

  21. Scott stankowski

    03/27/2017 at 2:15 pm

    Mrs. Zriny was one of my favorites at Evergreen that instilled the love of learning in me and how to be good to others. I am a high school science teacher and can say that the Evergreen family of teachers not only helped form my educational philosophy, it helped make me the man I am today. God bless.

  22. Karen Nerison

    03/27/2017 at 2:15 pm

    Jeff and family. I am so sorry for your loss. Karen’s memory will live on through how wonderful she made people feel when she was around. Thoughts and prayers, Karen Nerison

  23. Al and Judy Wheeler

    03/27/2017 at 2:15 pm

    I loved this wonderful lady dearly. She was everything a friend and neighbor could be. Al and I shared many happy times with Jeff, Karen, Lisa, and Brett , and consider ourselves blessed to have lived next door for so many years.
    Love and hugs to you all.

  24. Kathy Whiting

    03/27/2017 at 2:15 pm

    I will so miss my tennis, golfing and bridge friend. Karen and I had lots in common. She talked me into going back to teaching when I first moved to Wausau 30 years ago. I think we were at the Pine Bar. Lots of happy memories. Knowing what Karen went through these last seven years made me realize what a truly good sport she was. Karen had no quality of life these last years and never complained. I always marveled at her memory. I would try to think of a name from the past and in her very weak voice, she would tell me who it was. You are in a better place, Karen and I know you will be there to welcome all your friends😍😍😍. Kathy Whiting

  25. Sharon Hreath

    03/27/2017 at 2:15 pm

    Our deepest sympathies to Karen’s family she was such gentle person. So sorry we’re unable to attend her funeral as we are still out of town. God bless
    Darrell and Sharon Heath

  26. Eileen Clark Rahm

    03/27/2017 at 2:15 pm

    Jeff and family,

    Heaven is a brighter place. Karen will always be watching over all of you. Remember the love and the happy times.
    With deepest sympathy…

    Eileen Clark Rahm

  27. Howie and Mary Wolf

    03/27/2017 at 2:15 pm

    Karen was not only nurturing to her students, but also to those with whom she taught. Rest in God’s Kingdom, dear Karen! Our deepest sympathy to Jeff, Brett, Lisa, and families.

  28. Doug Olson

    03/27/2017 at 2:15 pm

    Jeff and family, our deepest sympathy and condolences regarding Karen’s passing . Our thoughts and prayers are with you and your family during this time of grief…….My Gods spirit reside in you and yours.

  29. Gary and Marsha Alexander

    03/27/2017 at 2:15 pm

    Jeff, we were so sorry to read of Karen’s passing. You and your family will forever treasure your times with her. She will be in your memories always. You have our heartfelt sympathies.

    Gary and Marsha Alexander