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The Northwoods River News | Rhinelander, Wisconsin

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October 23, 2021

9/14/2021 5:29:00 AM
Karen B. Kitze

Karen B Kitze, age 72, of Rhinelander, died on September 8, 2021.

She was born on Jan. 15, 1949 to Herman and Dorothy Rabska in Withee.

Karen is survived by her loving husband of 51 years, Michael J. Kitze; her children Megan Kitze-Ward (Matt Ward), Erica Saielli (Matthew Saielli) and David Kitze; her grandchildren: Cali Ward and Maxwell Ward; her brothers Greg Rabska (Candy) and Michael Rabska, and her sister Molly Rabska-Emmerich.

She is preceded in death by her parents; Herman and Dorothy (Marking) Rabska.

Karen's legacy though goes far beyond immediate family. Karen's motto was to build friends like family and merge the two together, so she is survived by many more. Her legacy extends to the entire Rabska family, the entire Kitze family, her UW-River Falls college friends, Lake Superior Crew, the Whiners, the staff and students of RHS who she taught and led for 30+ years, the League of Women Voters, the Master Gardeners and so many more.

Karen was a matriarch to many. She taught her students with passion and empowered everyone around her in so many ways - to live purely in the moment, speak up for what was right, and love fiercely. Her greatest quality though was her sincere curiosity and ability to listen and learn and make you feel like you were the most important one in the room. She had a genuine interest in learning from others and also sharing her love of gardening, music, art and politics. To know her was to know the deepest love on earth. The family will hold a small bonfire to honor her legacy, as her favorite thing to do was sit with her family around a fire overlooking the lake.

If you would like to honor and continue Karen's legacy, the family asks for donations to The League of Women Voters of the Northwoods, Northwoods Community Garden, ArtStart or the Rhinelander Area Food Pantry as she would want their work to continue.

Arrangements have been entrusted to the Hildebrand Funeral Home & Cremation Specialists, 24 E. Davenport Street, Rhinelander, Wisconsin, 54501, 715-365-4343. Everyone is invited to sign the guestbook or leave an online condolence at

Reader Comments

Posted: Monday, September 27, 2021
Article comment by: Harvey Verhaegen

Sorry for you loss Mr. Kitze and family. I had the honor to have both you and Karen as teachers and have many great memories from the classes both of you taught. May Karen rest in peace! God bless!
Harvey class of 1980

Posted: Saturday, September 18, 2021
Article comment by: FLORENCE EBERT

S0 sorry to read this about Karen!! Shr was a great person, and a wonderful teacher!!!! RIP Karen. Our sympathies to you Mike and family!

Posted: Thursday, September 16, 2021
Article comment by: KEVIN ANDERSON

mike, so sorry to hear of your loss,

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