Remembering Karen Walter

Karen Walter, although not a professor, had such a heavy presence on Loras Campus. Students could see her everyday, whether she was swiping them into the cafe or taking their order in the pub. Leading up to her passing, students were always asking how she was or when she would be back, and were so eager to sign a get well card. Students will remember Walter for her “spunk” and how “she was always able to make students smile and laugh.” She had a knack for remembering peoples names, and would poke fun at a student if they forgot their ID. She was never afraid to complain about a late team or rowdy customers in the pub, which made everyone laugh. When asked, this is what students and staff had to say:

“I had the privilege of working with Karen for two and a half years through campus dining, along with frequent stops by the Pub and Café to talk to her. Once I got past Karen’s walls, she became a good friend of mine. She always was able to make me laugh, especially with her sassy comebacks. Karen also knew what was happening on campus and was the best source for any and all news. Her unique laugh will always reserve a place in my heart. It was an honor working with and getting to know Karen throughout my four years at Loras.” – senior Jamie Engelke.

“Karen was always there to listen to rants about college life and would always tell you the truth even though you didn’t like it. I remember that she would always have stories to tell and always could tell if you had a hard day.” – senior Marcos Vega.

“One of my favorite things about working with Karen was seeing the impact that she had on the students at Loras. She always seemed to brighten up their day when they saw her at the register. Talking and joking with her was always fun. She was one of the sweetest people at Loras, and we will all miss her very much.” – sophomore Henry Nosek.

“Karen was a super sweet lady who loved to interact with the students. Karen made everybody feel welcomed when you came around her, and her smile would light everybody’s day. The cafe will never be the same without Karen greeting you at the counter and she will be truly missed here at Loras.” – sophomore Elissa Morales-Villanueva.

“Karen was the Sofia of the Golden Girls. She was mom to everyone and always full of advice. She just had that sense of humor just like Sophia. I loved working with her and we had our own little quirks, which made work so much more enjoyable.” – executive chef Joe Kuhse.

“What I appreciated most about Karen was her straight forwardness, she told it like it was. Most of the time it was a little brash but honest. She loved her Loras “kids”. Her family has been so moved by the outpouring of love for Karen, not really knowing how much she meant to so many. She was humble and didn’t really share this part of her life with her family. I think it is great for the family to see what an impact she had.” – director of dining services Janell Wollschlager.

“There is no one specific memory of Karen that sticks out. Every day was a great memory with her, you just never knew what you were going to get when she walked in the room. Every day at 3:30 no matter what kind of mood I was in she knew exactly how to put a smile on my face. With Karen, there was never a dull moment. She was one to not sugar coat anything, but that’s what made Karen, Karen. KareBear will always hold a special place in my heart and she will be greatly missed.” – Dining service manager Courtney Cawthon.

Her service was held on Oct. 11, where friends and family gathered to reminisce about her. She will be greatly missed but always remembered on campus.

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Rose Gottschalk is a copy editor for The Lorian.

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