Cover photo for Karen A. Houge's Obituary
Karen A. Houge Profile Photo
1937 Karen 2024

Karen A. Houge

August 14, 1937 — February 26, 2024

Albert Lea, MN

Karen A. Houge, 86, of Albert Lea, MN, passed away on Monday, February 26, 2024 at St. John's Lutheran Community on Fountain Lake. Born on August 14, 1937, in Winona, MN, to Merill and Ebba (Nelson) Baker, Karen grew up in Albert Lea alongside her siblings Lowell and Patricia. Karen's life was one characterized by love, faith, and service to others.

She attended Albert Lea High School, where she excelled in music and found joy in playing the violin and piano. After her high school graduation in 1955, Karen embarked on a fulfilling journey, working at various places such as the English Lutheran Church in Faribault and the First National Bank in Albert Lea. 

In 1958, she married the love of her life, Allen Jerome Houge, at First Lutheran Church, where she was confirmed and would remain a devout member for the rest of her life. Together, they raised five beautiful children, creating a warm and loving home filled with laughter, love, and countless joyful memories. Karen immersed herself in her roles as a dedicated wife, a supportive mother to her children and a committed bookkeeper to help support her family at both Enderes Tool Co. and Trades Publishing, Finding her niche after retirement with a job she adored, Karen began working at Fisher's Fine Jewelers as a retail associate .

Throughout her life, Karen found solace and purpose in her unwavering faith. She spent countless hours in service to her community through activities such as Stephen Ministries, church boards, and mission circles. Karen's passion for helping others extended beyond the church walls, as she and Allen were active members of the local ALANO society, demonstrating their commitment to supporting those in need.

An avid bowler, golfer, and card player, Karen cherished the time spent engaging in these activities with friends. She had a talent for sewing and knitting, creating beautiful garments for her children, who remained the center of her world.

In 2012, Karen faced challenges with grace when she was diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease, later demonstrating incredible resilience during her battle with breast cancer in 2015. Despite her health challenges, Karen remained steadfast in her love for her family and her unwavering faith in God.

Karen is preceded in death by her beloved husband of 42 years, Allen; parents, Merill and Ebba Baker; brother, Lowell Baker; sister-in-law, Addie Baker; brothers-in-law, Bernard Houge, Thomas Houge, and Marlen Heining.

Left to cherish Karen’s memory are her five children: Douglas Houge, Jennifer (Gary) Keyzers, Roxanne (Tony) Dunlop, Laura (Mark) Aili, and Becky (Loren) Anderson; sister, Patricia Heining; grandchildren Jessica (Josh) Holmes, David (Angela) Keyzers, Shaersti Anderson, Lars Anderson, Ray Aili, Caroline Aili, and Courtney Aili; six great grandchildren, and numerous cousins, nieces, and nephews.

The family wishes to extend their heartfelt appreciation to the dedicated caregivers at The Meadows of St. John’s Lutheran Community for their compassion and support during Karen's final days. Memorial contributions can be directed to The Meadows of St John’s Activities or to the First Lutheran Church in honor of Karen’s memory.

A memorial service honoring Karen will be held on Monday, March 04, 2024, 11 a.m., at First Lutheran Church in Albert Lea with visitation occurring one hour prior to service at the church. Pastor Trish Reedstrom will be officiating. Karen will be laid to rest with her husband, Allen, at Graceland Cemetery in Albert Lea.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Karen A. Houge, please visit our flower store.

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Visitation

Monday, March 4, 2024

10:00 - 11:00 am (Central time)

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Monday, March 4, 2024

11:00am - 12:00 pm (Central time)

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Interment

Monday, March 4, 2024

2:00 - 3:00 pm (Central time)

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