Karen Drewiske, 58
Karen Rose Drewiske, age 58, of Hudson, passed away Feb. 19, at her home after a courageous battle with cancer.
Karen was born Jan. 31, 1956, in Marshfield, Wis., the daughter of Rueben and Amanda (Rosandick) Gliniecki. Karen went to Stratford High where she was involved in band, cheerleading, and student government. She had a beautiful voice and was the lead in the high school musicals Bye Bye Birdie and Lil' Abner. Her most prestigious accomplishment was in 1973, when she was the State President and a National Officer of the Future Homemakers of America. After graduating from Stratford High School she furthered her education at the University Wisconsin-Stout.
She was united in marriage to David Paul Drewiske, on Aug. 5, 1983, at St. Stanislaus Catholic Church in Stevens Point, where a fishing boat bearing a "she caught the big one" banner carried them to their wedding reception. Their marriage was blessed with four children, Davis Anthony, Jacob Adam, Madaline Marie and Katherine Rose. She considered each child a special gift from God and made their well-being and success the focus of her life.
Karen began her professional career with First Federal Savings & Loan in Stevens Point, then moved to Cobe Document Systems in Madison. After moving to Hudson in 1985, she initially worked for First National Bank in White Bear Lake, Minn. In 1989, she moved to Citizens State Bank in Hudson where she was a Personal Banker and later a Bank Officer. In the interest of her family, she left banking and became a licensed insurance agent for St. Croix Valley Insurance Services, specializing in providing health insurance for small and mid-sized businesses. Her gifts for caring and communications served her well in establishing this business. She was known for her ability to find a health care solution for anyone who came through her door. During her entire professional career in Hudson, she worked for Alan Burchill, a mentor, friend, and boss who allowed her to put family first.
Being raised on an 800 acre dairy farm, Karen had a green thumb and enjoyed gardening, and was especially proud of her hostas, which she grew to epic proportions. Fortunately for David, her father and brothers taught her that boys occasionally need to hunt and fish. She understood those outdoor hobbies to the point of tolerating a husband who showed up at the hospital wearing blaze orange just prior to the births of Davis and Katherine. Some of her favorite meals where the venison steaks, pheasant stir fry, and fresh fish fillets he cooked to atone for his absences.
She loved cooking and baking, and warmed many hearts with her delicious pies, home-cooked meals, and lengthy chats around the kitchen counter. It was common place for her to open her home to serve family-style, home cooked meals to entire teams or gatherings of close family and friends which sometimes approached 200 people. The legend grew to the point that even the Wisconsin Badger and St. Lawrence Hockey team buses came for pre-game meals with "Momma D". But her favorite meals just may have been satisfying the craving of her children's friends for Schwan's ice cream malts at 2 a.m.
Although she and her husband were from wrestling families, it was she who decided her boys would play ice hockey. As her boys grew and found success on local, state, and national stages, she was always there with support and encouragement, even though each event might require another four hour drive. She prayed, willed and nursed her children back from everything from bruises to a broken neck. Her boys rewarded her commitment with two WIAA State Championships, three national championships (High School, Juniors, and College) and a home visit from Lord Stanley's Cup.
Karen was very involved in the Hudson community with the Hudson Hockey Association, Bench Warmers Club, Raider Boosters Club, and Noon Rotary. She was an active member of St. Patrick Catholic Church & School of Hudson as a parent volunteer, CCD and Confirmation teacher, as well as Faith Formation. She served as a friend, confidant and advisor to former State Representative Kitty Rhoades, and to HHS Athletic Director Stephanie DuVos.
She had the strength and band-width to balance her family, professional and community obligations even though her husband traveled frequently. Little wonder some called her wonder woman or super aunt. Most important to Karen was her family, always and unconditionally making them her first and foremost priority. She was a wonderful wife, mother, daughter, and sister, who will be dearly missed.
Karen will remain in the hearts of her loving and devoted husband, David; children: Davis (Megan) Drewiske of Minneapolis, Jacob Drewiske of Cary, N.C., Madaline Drewiske of Hudson, and Katherine Drewiske of Hudson; mother, Amanda Gliniecki; siblings: David (Marge) Gliniecki, Maggie (Gary) Hilgart, Phil (Lynne) Gliniecki, Joan (Jeff) Marmer and Matt (Patti) Gliniecki; many nieces and nephews; other relatives; and dear friends.
She was preceded in death by her father, Rueben Gliniecki; a sister, Donna Mae Gliniecki; and in-laws, Bernard and Mildred Drewiske.
Mass of Christian Burial will take place 12 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 22, at St. Patrick Catholic Church, 1500 Vine St., Hudson, with Rev. Fr. John Gerritts officiating. A visitation will take place 4-8 p.m. Friday, Feb. 21, at St. Patrick Catholic Church, and one hour prior to the Mass on Saturday. Interment will take place at St. Mary's Cemetery in Big River, Wis. (Hwy 10 between Ellsworth & Prescott).
Pallbearers assisting with the services will be: brothers, David, Matt, and Phil Gliniecki, and brothers-in-law, Jeff Marmer, Gary Hilgart, and Michael, James, Roger, and Thomas Drewiske. A Hockey Mom's Memorial Gathering in honor of Karen will take place 6 p.m. until ?? Saturday, Feb. 22, at the Gornick Arena, Hudson Hockey Rink, 1820 Hanley Rd.
Memorials are preferred to St. Patrick's Catholic School or Hudson Hockey Association. Funeral services are entrusted to O'Connell Family Funeral Home of Hudson (715) 386-3725.