Karen Heerde

October 21, 1942 ~ June 24, 2022 (age 79)


Karen Kay Heerde, 79, of Armington, Illinois, beloved wife of Tom, passed away peacefully surrounded by her family on June 24, 2022, at OSF St. Francis, Peoria, IL.

Born October 21, 1942 daughter of Juanita and Charley Denny, who preceded her in death. Karen graduated Danvers High School in 1960 and married Tom Heerde on March 3, 1963. In addition to being an amazing mother, grandmother, and great grandmother, Karen worked as a clerk at IAA, a Librarian at Armington Grade School and Olympia Middle School, a coordinator at the local Share Food Banks and was also affectionately known as the local Ding-Dong Avon Lady.

She is survived by her husband of 59 years Tom Heerde; sons, Chuck Heerde of Hopedale, IL; Glen (Tara) Heerde of Atlanta, IL and Greg (Tamara) Heerde of Frankfort, IL; grandchildren, Stephanie, Morgan, Emily, Nicholas and Benjamin; step-grandchildren Ashley, Lane and Tyler; 5 great-grandchildren; her sister, Bonnie (Mark) Owens and brothers, Dale (Dawn) Denny and Dan (Tina) Denny; along with many nieces and nephews.

Lovingly called Grandma Sugar by her grandchildren, she enjoyed reading, completing puzzles, watching her bird feeders and cruising around in their ‘57 Chevy. Karen especially loved bringing joy to others by portraying Mrs. Claus, which she did beside Tom as Santa in a variety of venues including the Caterpillar Christmas party for more than 20 years.

There will be a private graveside service. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Armington Community Fire and Rescue Service (105 W Third St, Armington, IL 61721) or charity of donor’s choice. Haensel-Oswald Funeral Home in  Minier is handling the arrangements.


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