Farming Rural 18

Irene C. Karlen

December 1, 1925 ~ April 22, 2021 (age 95)


Irene C. Karlen, 95, Wausau, died Thursday April 22, 2021 at Our House Assisted Living under the care of Aspirus Comfort Care and Hospice Services.

She was born December 1, 1925 in the town of Stettin, daughter of the late Joseph and Martha (Heil) Hack.  She grew up living the farm life with her parents and 6 brothers, (3 older and 3 younger – as the story goes). She had the fondest memories of the time spent in the kitchen helping her mother prepare meals and bake the danish and goodies for the many friends and relatives who frequently visited the family farm.  The times spent with her Grandpa were very precious to her, as she so often spoke of him. 

Irene married Norman Karlen on October 23, 1946 at St. Mary Catholic Church, Marathon.  They built their home on a beautiful parcel of land down the road from the family farm which now has the sign “Welcome to Marathon”.  They raised 4 daughters and Irene was a homemaker and stay-at-home mom until her children were older, when she went to work at Hack’s Diner.  She loved being with her family and watching her grandchildren grow up. 

Among her favorite things to do were traveling and going on bus tours with Norman, gardening and playing bingo.

Survivors include three daughters, Carol Venske, Wausau, Diane (Dan) Krebsbach, Appleton and Debbie (Joe) Kasmerchak, Wausau; Mom loved her grandchildren Michelle (Bruce) Venske-Fields, Krista (Josh) Venske-Dallman, Troy (Kristy) Lemmer, Todd Lemmer and Chris Lemmer, Heather (Casey) Krebsbach-McGuire, Tiffany (Paul) Krebsbach-Gentile, Tara (Justin) Krebsbach-Nale, Jessica Kasmerchak (Jesse Moon) and Carissa Kasmerchak;  Great grandchildren: Alexander and Aryanna Dallman, Kylee Skinner and Taysen Lemmer, Knox McGuire, Henry, Grant and Blake Gentile, Mila and Oliver Nale and Ava Moon; and two sisters in-law, Marchita Hack, California and Joan Hack, Wausau.

Besides her parents and husband, she was preceded in death by a daughter, Patricia Lemmer and a grandson, Eric Krebsbach.  Also preceding her in death were her six brothers(anyone who spoke with her knows she had three older brothers: Clarence (Mathie) Hack, Orville (Lorraine) Hack, Alfred (Mae) Hack and three younger brothers: Rufus Hack, California; Harry (Donna) Hack and Joseph Hack.

The Funeral Mass will be celebrated at 4:30 p.m. on Tuesday, April 27, 2021 at St. Anne Catholic Church, Wausau  and will be livestreamed for the public at beginning at 4:30 p.m. on Tuesday.  Rev. Thomas Lindner will preside.  Burial will be at St. Mary Cemetery, Marathon.  Visitation will be Tuesday from 3:30 p.m. until the time of service at the church.

The family would like to extend a special “thank you” to Bernie, Paliative Care, the staff at “Our House” for the loving care given to Mom the last three years and for the extra tasty desserts and most recently, Kathy, the Hospice nurse.   

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

To send flowers to Irene's family, please visit our floral store.


April 27, 2021

3:30 PM to 4:30 PM
St. Anne Catholic Church (Wausau)

Funeral Mass
April 27, 2021

4:30 PM
St. Anne Catholic Church (Wausau)

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