Brookside Funeral Home & Crematory
Beloved wife, mother, grandmother and sister passed from our embrace to the arms of the Lord on November 9, 2019 after a brief battle with cancer at age 72.
She was the first born to Harold and Eva Lentz Stephenson on December 7, 1946 and was raised on the pioneer Stephenson family farm in the White Swan area.
Fond memories of her younger years usually revolved around horses including rides on the farm, barrel racing, play days and trail rides as well as being a rodeo queen. She was especially blessed to be raised in a close family with five sisters and one brother as well as nearby cousins. She often mentioned the closeness of her small high school class of “65” at White Swan.
Karen attended both Gonzaga University and WSU. While at WSU she met her future husband, Mike Sauer. They were married at Holy Redeemer Catholic Church on June 14, 1969 and after college they returned to the family farm. Eventually they developed Red Willow Vineyard from within the Stephenson farm. Karen was fully involved with the development and fostering of Red Willow Vineyards while at the same time being the mother of their six children.
Her most cherished times were always centered around family and bringing the members together. Large family camp outs, 4th of July, Easter, Thanksgiving, Christmas or just going to the beach clam digging were reasons to assemble the family. The beach at Grayland was always Mike and Karen’s special getaway.
Mike and Karen’s life was very much centered around their involvement with St. Mary’s Catholic Parish in White Swan. On June 14th of this year, Karen and Mike celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary by renewing their marriage vows in the Red Willow Chapel.
Karen is preceded in death by parents Harold and Eva Stephenson and sister Anne Stephenson. She is survived by husband Mike Sauer and sons Marc (Terri) Sauer, Jonathan (Kelly) Sauer, and Daniel (Ila) Sauer, daughters Suzanne (Todd) Rettig, Rachel (Rick) Willsey and Katherine (Scott) Pfaff, and fifteen grandchildren. She is also survived by brother Vern (Donna) Stephenson, sisters Anita (Scott) Griffin, Marcia (Steve) Sziebert, Marian (Doug) Jones and Donna (Kelly) Smith.
A Viewing will be held Friday, November 15, 2019 at 5:00 PM with Rosary at 6:00 PM at St. Mary’s Catholic Church (360 Signal Peak Rd., White Swan, WA). A Mass of Christian Burial will be Saturday, November 16, 2019 at 12:30 PM at St. Paul Cathedral (15 S. 12th Ave., Yakima, WA). A private family graveside will be held at a later date.
In lieu of flowers charitable donations may be made to the Sister Rebecca Bergoff foundation for Saint Joseph Marquette School C/O Brookside Funeral Home and Crematory.
Online condolences may be sent to Brookside Funeral Home at www.brooksidefuneral.com.