Karen Kathryn (Kleinschmit) Nissel, age 69 of Walnut Grove, passed away Monday, April 22, 2024 at Prairie View Nursing Home after a year and a half battle with cancer. Memorial Services will be held at 10:30 a.m. Friday, April 26, 2024 at English Lutheran Church in Walnut Grove. Visitation will be 4:00 – 7:00 p.m. on Thursday, April 25 at the Walnut Grove Funeral Home with a Prayer Service at 7:00 p.m. Visitation will continue one hour prior to the services at the church. Interment will be in the Walnut Grove Cemetery.  Stephens Funeral Service – Walnut Grove Funeral Home is assisting the family with arrangements.

Karen Kathryn (Kleinschmit) Nissel was born November 8, 1954 in Gregory, South Dakota to Harold and Lillian (Vrzal) Kleinschmit. She was baptized at St. Joseph Catholic Church in Gregory, SD and confirmed at St. Patrick Catholic Church in Wall, SD. Karen grew up cleaning rooms at her parents’ motel alongside her mom. She attended Wall Elementary and Wall High School. She furthered her education at the National College of Business in Rapid City before marrying Walter “Sonny” Nissel in Kadoka, South Dakota on September 1, 1977. While their children were young, Karen was a stay-at-home-mom. She loved taking her little family fishing and on trips to resorts by Alexandria, MN. Karen worked at WWG Schools for over 30 years as a paraprofessional and made a huge impact on so many kids. Because of this, she always had former students recognize her while out and about in the community who had to give “Mrs. Nissel” a hug. Karen was a long-time member of English Lutheran Church in Walnut Grove. She enjoyed spending time outdoors and gardening. Watching her grandkids in sports and other events, and being with her family were favorite pastimes. Karen played a mean game of Gin Rummy, Skip-Bo, Uno, Cribbage & Aggravation and was always betting against her son-in-law Mike on the Vikings. Other hobbies included crocheting, crosswords, reading and Diamond Dotz. She was well-known by family for her potato salad and pickles. Like a true grandma, Karen always had baked goods for the grandkids.

Karen is survived by her husband Walter “Sonny”; mother Lillian Kleinschmit of Philip, SD; children: Troy of Walnut Grove and Andrea (Mike) Bents of Tracy; grandchildren: Sage & Skye Bents; siblings: Peggy Aby (special friend Jack) of Wall, SD, Linda (Tom) Freeman of Rapid City, SD, and Kevin (Sarah) Kleinschmit of Jefferson City, MO. She is preceded in death by her dad Harold, In-laws Walter & Veronica, brothers-in-law Donald Aby and Hub Kolar, nephew Ron Kolar and niece Cindy Kolar.