Date of Birth
Date of Death
KAREN LEA FRANCES CHASEwas born to this life, July 31, 1964. On that same day in 2008, she celebrated her forty-fourth birthday with her family at her Naperville home. Had you heard her and her family that day, you would never have guessed that she had just been admitted into hospice care. She and husband Ed, their two sons and a number of relatives lived that day as they did everyday – with genuine joy and matter-of-fact acknowledgement of "Lupus" in the room. Two days later, Karen had another birthday. Born to Eternal Life on Saturday, August 2, 2008, Karen’s life was changed -not ended. For her loved ones here, life too was changed -but not ended. The faith and love that held them together remains forever. What follows is the all-too-short story of Karen’s life here. Karen was born in Minneapolis, MN, the daughter of Curt and Doris (Konickson) Skredergard. When she was five, tragedy struck when an accident claimed the life of her sister, Camile. The following year, the family moved to Pueblo, CO. Colorado was home until 1980 when they moved to Billings, MT. Through her high school years, Karen played the flute and participated in the high school band. She also worked at Arby’s, Showbiz Pizza. Eventually, Karen earned her CNA certificate and got a job a the Valley Nursing Home. Like every teen, Karen longed to "get out of town" and as soon as she could, she moved back to Minneapolis where she worked at North Memorial Hospital. It was a time of inspiration and discovery for Karen; a time when the life of St. Francis of Assisi moved her so deeply she legally added "Frances" to her name and vowed to live in the character of Saint Francis. Soon she would move to Robinsdale, MN where she had a cat named Morka, a bunny rabbit in the yard and life was good. Then along came Ed – and life got immeasurably better. They met at the First Methodist Church. Karen was intrigued by Ed’s "quirky" sense of humor and, according to the "true confessions" of her best friend – Karen said Ed was her "hot" date. They both loved hiking and camping and their relationship blossomed as they walked and talked along miles and miles of nature trails. When Ed’s job and a longing for Illinois called him back to the mid-west, he "popped the question" and prayed Karen would say yes. Her lips said "maybe" but her heart went with Ed – and soon the rest of her followed. They were wed in September 7, 1991, in Marquette, MI. and their honeymoon was a camping trip to Canada’s Lake Superior Provincial Park. They returned to a more "urban wilderness" in Chicago where they set up housekeeping in an upstairs apartment on Ashland Avenue. Amazingly, Karen adapted very well to city life as she returned to hospital work in the city. They were blessed for a while to live in a lakefront condo with a fantastic view and a work commute that only a block for Karen.In 1994, they heard the call of the "West" – and moved to Wheaton, IL where Isaac arrived. Karen worked at Central DuPage Hospital and loved being a mom. In the Wheaton years, Karen and Ed also became foster parents and were committed to the regular monthly support of several missions and individual missionaries including the Slavic Gospel Association, Child Evangelism, to name a few. On a very personal level the passion of their faith found expression as they created Christmas baskets for orphans and gave their car to visiting missionaries. Karen volunteered at Maryville, holding "crack babies" through the long hours of their distress. Through the years, Karen also supported Ed in some of his personal outreach ministries. In May of 1999, they moved to Naperville and the family grew again as Joe arrived at Christmas! Through it all, Karen battled Lupus, had a major heart operation, endured countless treatments and totally amazed her doctors. But that was just the "parenthetical" part of her everyday. Her total focus was her family and her faith,and that truth is the powerful legacy of her life. Karen loved spending time with her boys. Cooking, baking and camping, she and Ed taught their sons to enjoy the wilderness that had always been their first love. As life continues, there is no doubt that Ed, Isaac and Joe will see and hear Karen in the sights and sounds of nature; in the promise of a mountain sunrise, the smell of breakfast over an open campfire and the peace of a sunset across the boundary waters. SURVIVORS In addition to her husband, Ed, and her sons, Isaac (12) and Joe (5)Karen leaves her mother Doris (Konickson) Skredergard of Billings Montana;her father, Curt Skredergard and his wife, Helen, of Austin, TX; three siblings: Kristie Nasseri of Arlington, TX, Dawn Pearson of Laurel, MT andEric (Marilyn) Skredergard of Billings, MT;Several nieces and nephews: (Krisitie’s family) Katie (Chad) WilliamsArash Shahin (Dawn’s family):Kayla and Nicole (Eric’s family):Aleaha and Stephanie;One great niece and nephew: (Katie & Chad’s childen) Leilani and Zander Williams)Two sisters-in-law an their families: Sarah (Robert) McLaughlin (Rebecca and Mary catherine); and Alice Chase-Sieth (Valerie and Julia Sieth;Among many other relatives and friends, she leaves as well, an extra special aunt, Carol Neisen.PRECEDED Karen joins now her sister, Camile;Her maternal grandparents: Clarence and Alyce Konickson ,paternal grandparents: Herman and Cecila Skredergard, one uncle, Roger Neisen and several others, gone home before her. VISITATION / FUNERAL Visitation will be held Wednesday, August 6, 2008 from 4pm to 8 pm at Conley Funeral Home, 116 W. Pierce St., Elburn. Funeral services will follow Thursday morning at 10:30 am at the funeral home. Jerome D. Cornell, Global Missions Elder, will officiate and interment services will conclude at North Cemetery, Rt. 25 St. Charles, IL. MEMORIAL A memorial has been established in Karen’s name to benefit her children as well as other favorite charities. Memorials checks may be made to the ¬¬Karen Chase Memorial and mailed in care of P.O. Box 66, Elburn, IL 60119. Tributes and memories may also be forwarded to the family at the same address or through her obituary at www.conleycare.com. For information call 630-365-6414 or 800-8-CONLEY.
VISITATION / FUNERAL Visitation will be held Wednesday, August 6, 2008 from 4pm to 8 pm at Conley Funeral Home, 116 W. Pierce St., Elburn. Funeral services will follow Thursday morning at 10:30 am at the funeral home. Jerome D. Cornell, Global Missions Elder, will officiate and interment services will conclude at North Cemetery, Rt. 25 St. Charles, IL.
MEMORIAL A memorial has been established in Karen’s name to benefit her children as well as other favorite charities.