Karen Voelkel to celebrate 80th birthday with open house


The children of Karen Voelkel invite you to an open house to celebrate their mother’s 80th birthday on Saturday, June 22, from 3-6 p.m. at the United Methodist Church in Eldridge, 604 S. 2nd St.

Karen JoAnn Reinier was born May 17, 1939, to Joseph and Lois (Graham) Reinier in Ottumwa, Iowa. She had one sister and brother-in-law, Sharon and John Karnstedt, Eldridge, both deceased. She attended Richland (Iowa) Consolidated School. She graduated from Parsons College, Fairfield, Iowa, with a bachelor of science degree in home economics. There she met her husband, Robert Voelkel. They were married July 10, 1960, at the Methodist Episcopal Church in Richland. They are charter members of the United Methodist Church in Eldridge, where she played the organ for services and sang in the choir for many years.

She taught home economics and language arts in Mechanicsville, Lincoln Community Schools, Stanwood and Lowden; was a substitute teacher at North Scott schools while her children were growing up; then was a family and consumer science instructor at Rock Island High School, and then at Central Community High School in DeWitt. Robert is a retired North Scott mathematics instructor.

They have four children: Kristen and Guillermo Saenz, Mexico, Mo.; Jana and Steve Kovacic, Rapid City, Ill.; Scott and Donna Voelkel, Burke, Va.; and Lynn and Nate Smith, Delmar. There are 16 grandchildren, 10 step-grandchildren, and a great-granddaughter. A great-grandson is due in August. She has four nieces and three nephews, and several great-nieces and great-nephews.

She enjoys playing pickleball, researching genealogy, quilting, reading, and time spent with family and friends. Please let your presence be your gift.