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May 10, 2018

Donna J. Karlen

Donna J. Karlen, age 85 of Monticello, died Monday, April 30, 2018, at the Monroe Clinic Hospital. Donna was born on April 19, 1933 in Monroe, the daughter of Cloyance and Hilda (Dick) Karlen.

She was raised in Monticello and graduated from Monticello High School in 1951. She furthered her education by attending the Mission House College and Seminary in Plymouth, WI. She became a certified X-Ray Technician and practiced in California for several years. She returned to Monticello and earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Education from Northern Illinois University in 1969. Donna was employed at Greenco Industries in Monroe, teaching people with developmental disabilities. Once retired, Donna and her friend from Switzerland, Trudi, traveled extensively to many parts of the world. She also spent several winters in Alabama on the Gulf Shores. Donna was born with cerebral palsy, but this did not stop her from living a full life, enjoying her independence. She was a member of Zwingli United Church of Christ in Monticello and the Zwingli Ruth Circle. She also loved to golf and take road trips to the casino.

She is survived by first cousins, Richard (Anne) Dugdale, Tom (Pepper) Dugdale, all of Colorado, Madelyn Glaeden of Janesville, Jo Ann Weatherly of Alabama; and many other relatives, friends, neighbors, and dedicated caregivers.

She was preceded in death by her parents and many cousins and other relatives.

A celebration of Donna's life was held on Saturday, May 5, 2018, at 11:00 a.m., at the Zwingli United Church of Christ, Monticello, with Reverend Lance Smith officiating. Inurnment will follow in Highland Cemetery, Monticello. Visitation was at the church on Saturday from 10:00 a.m. until the time of service.

Memorials may be given in Donna's name to Zwingli Church, The Monticello Foundation, or a charity of the donor's choice.

The Voegeli-Newcomer Funeral Home, Monticello, is serving the family. Condolences may be shared at


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