Karen Kay Boeckenhauer Weeks, daughter of the late Robert and Inez (Wriedt) Boeckenhauer and 1962 graduate of Hahn High died in Arvada, Colorado on Wednesday, Nov. 1, 2023.
Services are being held in Arvada, Colorado and Peachtree Corners, Georgia.
Karen was born in Ainsworth on April 20, 1944 and moved to the Wayne area with the family in 1946 – back to the home of countless Boeckenhauer, Haglund, Utemark and Wriedt relatives in Wayne, Wakefield, and Emerson. They settled on a farm on the southwest edge of Wayne, fondly referred to as Gruesome Gulch.
She was one of only two students in her class who attended Wayne Prep from kindergarten thru graduation. She played flute in the band, violin in the orchestra, and sang in many choirs and ensembles, as well as serving as president of Pep Club and co-editor of the yearbook. She was Valedictorian of the last class to graduate before Hahn High was closed in 1962.
Karen participated in Wayne County 4-H, in the Lively Lassies and Beat ‘Em All clubs. She won countless ribbons at the county and state fairs, as well as Wayne County Dress Revue Champion three years in a row. Karen and her brothers, Lauren and Maurice, had a joint 4-H sheep project for many years. She attended State 4-H Club Week and Conservation Camp at Halsey as well as representing Nebraska 4-H at the Camp Miniwanca leadership camp in 1963.
Karen was a lifelong Methodist and loved her church fiercely. She was baptized at Ainsworth and confirmed at Wayne First Methodist, where she participated actively in youth choirs and Sunday School, even earning perfect attendance.
Karen attended the University of Nebraska School of Nursing and began her career in the maternity department of the University Hospital. She married Gene Weeks in 1968; their children Kara and Kevin soon joined the family in Omaha. While there, she co-led a 4-H club, passing on what she’d learned to a new generation of girls.
The Weeks moved to Peachtree Corners, Georgia in 1980 where she spent over 25 years caring for students at Berkeley Lake Elementary. She was a force of nature at Mt. Carmel United Methodist, serving on committees, teaching Sunday School and singing in the choir. She encouraged both of her children in their Scouting endeavors and led Girl Scout Troop 840 for 10 years.
In 2014 Karen and Gene moved to Arvada, Colorado to be close to their grandchildren. Once again they found a church community – Arvada First United Methodist – and were active participants, this time both of them singing in the choir.
Karen loved bird-watching, gardening, walking in nature, needlecraft of all sorts, as well as cooking and baking – activities first explored in 4-H became life-long passions. Her apple pie was legendary. Boeckenhauer and Wriedt family reunions brought annual trips back to Nebraska where Karen drew strength from family ties and the sights and sounds of farm and ranch country.
Survivors include her loving husband Gene; daughter Kara; son Kevin and wife Kelly; grandchildren Brent and Riley; her sister, Juanita Reed-Boniface and brother, Lauren Boeckenhauer; three sisters-in-law; countless nieces, nephews and cousins; and the countless friends she made wherever she lived.
She was preceded in death by her parents and brother, Maurice.
Donations may be made to the Nebraska 4-H Foundation, where a fund has been set up in her memory. Donations can be made at www.ne4hfoundation.org or by mail to: Nebraska 4-H Foundation, University of Nebraska Lincoln, P.O Box 4500, Lincoln, Neb. 68504
Remembrances may be sent to Gene Weeks in care of: In Memoriam, 7290 W. 119th Place, Broomfield, Colorado 80020.