Karen Jean Burkart, 79, of Peru, passed away at home surrounded by her family on February 16, 2020.
Mass of Christian burial will be 11:00 AM Wednesday at St. Joseph’s Church in Peru with Rev. J.A. Small officiating. Burial will be in St. Joseph’s Cemetery in Webster Park, Spring Valley. Visitation will be in the church on Wednesday from 9:00 AM until time of services. The Hurst Funeral Home in La Salle is assisting the family with arrangements.
Mrs. Burkart was born in La Salle on February 18, 1940 to Raymond and Jean (Chioni) Koch. She married Ralph A. Burkart at St. Benedict’s Church in Ladd on August 2, 1958. She worked as a waitress at Lanuti’s in Ladd. Along with her husband Ralph, Karen owned and operated the A&W Rootbeer Stand in Spring Valley. Later, she worked for the Eagle’s grocery store. Mrs. Burkart was also a devoted member of St. Joseph’s Church. She also enjoyed her poker club for many years.
Mrs. Burkart will be remembered as a feisty and fun-loving Cubs fan who loved to spoil her grandkids. Some of her favorite things included filling a bucket of fresh caught bluegill, combing the Florida beaches for unique seashells first thing in the morning, and a fascination with the colors and sounds of birds. She always had an off-the-cuff joke or one liner to make everybody smile. She made everything special. She made life fun. Mrs. Burkart dedicated her life to her family; always there for every occasion and never missing a ball game.
Mrs. Burkart spent many summers with Ralph and her family at Fish’n’Fun in McNabb, where they made many treasured memories by the lake. She was a lover of all things nature, a loyal Illini basketball fan, and a pillar of strength and love for the whole Burkart family.
Mrs. Burkart is survived by her husband Ralph of Peru; sons Brad (Mary Beth) Burkart of Peru and Randy (Brenda) Burkart of Peru; three granddaughters Andrea, Amanda, and Britney Burkart; one grandson Brett Burkart; and a great granddaughter Addison Jaegle.
She was preceded in death by her parents, one son Gregory, and her brother Bill Koch.
Pallbearers will be her four grandchildren, and Tom & Steve Koch.
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