Life Story / Obituary
Karen Marie Belanger, age 67, of Lake Leelanau & Silver Springs/Ocala, Fl, passed away peacefully in her sleep on August 8th, 2019. She was the daughter of William Charles Kerecman and Ruth Marie (Maki) Kerecman. Karen was born in Ironwood, MI. on January 30th, 1952. She graduated from Traverse City Senior High School in 1970.
She was united in marriage to John Steimel, father of her two sons in 1971, who preceded her in death in 1984.
Karen married Dale Belanger on October 25, 1985. Their thirty-three years of marriage have been a blessing. Over the years they loved, laughed, supported, each other and lived each day to its fullest.
Karen enjoyed spending time on Lake Leelanau with her family and shared her winters in Silver Springs, Fl. where a close group of friends easily learned to adore her and treat her as family. She enjoyed facilitating events and special occasions with her ‘down south” family.
Riding her three wheel Harley motorcycle with her husband has been a highlight of her retirement days. On Wednesdays, in Florida, they explored new cities, coast lines and new places to dine. She was proud of her Finnish heritage and visited her birthplace of Ironwood, Mi. in the Upper Peninsula. Cross country trips and visits with friends and family in the United States and Canada were a highlight of her summers. Karen enjoyed planning for their next adventures
“Girl time” with her life-long dearest friend, Mary Ann Nemeskal and visits to her brother’s home in Richland, MI. where her siblings met to catch up and share in memories were important to her. They spent hours of game playing while sharing her sister-in-law, Susan’s delicious meals and having great laughs. Craft shows, shopping, going to the movies, hosting holiday family dinners, attending her granddaughters softball games and spending time with her grandchildren, was what her regular days and travels included. She loved these times and will be laughing in the background with them, every time they gather together…
Karen started as a senior in high school at Michigan Bell Telephone Company. Her older sister Nan encouraged her to apply and therefore was able to work alongside her for much of their careers. She quickly grew to enjoy and grow in the work she did. Her phone company family was a great part of her life and she met with many of them to catch up regularly. Karen retired after over thirty years of service with AT&T
One of Karen’s motto’s, “Don’t look back. You’re not going that way” helped her live life to the fullest.
Karen will also be forever missed by her two sons, Steve Steimel (Kristy), Eric Steimel (Tara); Stepsons, Josh Belanger (Sogol) and Chris Belanger; six grandchildren, Katelyn, John, Rachel, Brittany, Luke, and Melina; Brother, William Kerecman (Susan); Sister, Nancy Koontz (Garner); Sister-in-law, Norine Kerecman; brother's-in-law, Brother-in-law's Lynn (Tina) Belanger, Alvin Belanger many nieces, nephews and her dog, Maggie
Karen was preceded in death by her parents and brother, Norman Kerecman
Join Karen’s family and friends at the Belanger’s summer lot on August 24th starting at 11 a.m. with a celebration of life overlooking Lake Leelanau at 12 p.m., 2491 South Lake Shore Drive in Lake Leelanau, MI. Memorial contributions may be directed to The Down Syndrome Association of Northwest Michigan. Please visit www.lifestorytc.com to sign the guest book and share your thoughts and memories with the family. The family chose Life Story Funeral Home, Traverse City.