Obituary for Karmen Kay (Kirstein) Hanke | Peterson Kraemer Funeral Homes & Crematory Inc.
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Karmen Kay (Kirstein) Hanke

December 4, 1933 ~ July 29, 2019 (age 85)

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Karmen Kay Hanke, 85, Marathon, died Monday, July 29, 2019 at Aspirus Wausau Hospital.

She was born December 4, 1933 in Wausau, daughter of the late Walter and Eleanor (Lietz) Kirstein.  On October 9, 1954, she married Marvin Hanke at St. Matthew Evangelical Lutheran Church, Marathon.  He preceded her in death on September 7, 2001.

Karmen was a homemaker and enjoyed working on the family farm and ginseng gardens.  Among her favorite pastimes were playing cards, gambling and sewing, going to the swim center followed by a good breakfast with friends, and watching the game show network.  In her and Marvin’s younger years, they enjoyed attending neighborhood parties.  She also enjoyed collecting Beanie Babies and Barbie Dolls and had a vast collection of them.

Most of all, she loved spending time with her family, especially attending her grandchildren’s many activities and adored her two cats.  Christmas at grandmas was such an extra special holiday for everyone – something we all looked forward to. 

For many years, Karmen was a 4-H Leader and always enjoyed attending the Wisconsin Valley Fair.  She had also been employed part-time at Wausau Coated Products for about 10 years.

Survivors include, seven children, Dennis (Lori) Hanke and children, Jennifer, Michael (Melissa) and Denise (Ben Klosinski); Colleen (Myron) Endres and children, Nina (Adam Conn), Jason (Katie) and Dacia;  Kenneth (Linda) Hanke and children, Jenna (Brian Miller), Brittany Zelenka (Laurie) and Kaylee (Luke Peterson); Russell (Charlotte) Hanke and children, Ashley (Greg Jehn), Cody (Gizelle), Natasha and Carter;  Scott (Pam) Hanke and son, Zachary;  Kip (Jacalyn) Hanke and children, Tia (fiancé Tom Loftus), Tessa and Tanner; and Vicki (Ed) Urmanski and children, Molly and Morgan; 14 great-grandchildren, Sophia, Eleanor & Hudson Conn, Clementine & Beverly Endres, Madison, Marvin, Maverick & Manning Hanke, Henry & Brayden Miller, Lennyn Zelenka, Emerson and Macy Jehn; one brother, Ronnie Kirstein; one sister, Marla (James) Schroeder; and many nieces and nephews.

Besides her parents and husband, Marvin, she was preceded in death by one sister-in-law, Donna Kirstein.

Funeral services will be at 3:00 p.m. on Sunday, August 4, 2019 at St. Matthew Evangelical Lutheran Church, Marathon.  Rev. Jon Hadler will officiate.  Visitation will be on Sunday from Noon until time of services at the church.  A private family Entombment will be on Monday at 9:00 a.m. at the Memorial Chapel Mausoleum, Restlawn Memorial Park, Wausau.

Memorials may be directed to the family in Karmen’s memory.

The family would like to extend a special thank you to all the nurses and doctors in the Palliative Care Unit at Aspirus Wausau Hospital for their care and compassion.

Peterson/Kraemer Funeral Home, Marathon is in charge of arrangements.  Online condolences may be expressed at


To send flowers to Karmen's family, please visit our floral section.


August 4, 2019

12:00 PM to 3:00 PM
St. Matthew Evangelical Lutheran Church
712 Second Street
WI, 54448 US

Funeral Service
August 4, 2019

3:00 PM
St. Matthew Evangelical Lutheran Church
712 Second Street
WI, 54448 US

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