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Inwood, IA: Karen Bouwman, 69, of Inwood, Iowa, died Tuesday, June 1, 2021, at the Select Specialty Hospital in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. Funeral services will be held Tuesday, June 8, at 10:30 AM at Porter Funeral Home of Inwood with Rev. Rob Horstman officiating. Burial will follow at Richland Cemetery of Inwood. Visitation, with the family present, will be held Monday, June 7, from 5:00-7:00 PM at Porter Funeral Home of Inwood. Memorial contributions will go towards a new bench seat at the Inwood City Park (Foote Park) in memory of Karen.
Karen Ione (Faber) Bouwman was born June 15, 1951, in Canton, SD, first born child of Jim and Sadie (Folkerts) Faber. She grew up on a farm SW of Inwood, IA and attended the Inwood Christian School. After graduating from Western Christian High School in 1969, she attended the South Dakota Hair Styling Academy in Sioux Falls, SD. She received her SD hairstyling license in 1970.
On September 30, 1970 she and Roger Bouwman were married at the Inwood Christian Reformed Church, Inwood. As Roger was a second year pre-seminary student at Dordt College, she practiced hairstyling at both Inwood and Sioux Center, IA.
Karen and Roger had four sons: Jeromy, Christopher, Derrick and Christian (adopted). With her husband, Karen served Christian Reformed congregations in Ionia, MI, LeMars, IA, Brookfield, WI, Fulton, IL, Hull, IA and Albuquerque, NM over thirty-three years.
Karen loved people and as a minister’s wife was often involved in things that promoted fellowship and fun within the congregations that she served with Roger. Such as progressive dinners where participants rode on bicycles to each home where the next course would be served and a special Valentine’s dinner served in a transformed fellowship hall. She also loved providing seasonal décor for the sanctuary, or the fellowship hall.
Her true love was youth ministry. She created themed dinners for the Junior-Senior banquets at Unity Christian High in Fulton, IL. She worked tirelessly to raise funds so the young people could attend the annual national conventions which were sponsored by Youth Unlimited at that time. She then created the itineraries for the road trip to and from the convention sites. These trips always included awe-inspiring natural features as well as fun adventures enroute. Destinations were Colorado, Rhode Island, California and Alberta, CA.
This experience with youth travel led her to establish R &K Tours in 2011. She built her tour business by herself from a single tour in 2012 to eight tours in 2017. She would research popular destinations, create the itinerary and market the tour. She would charter a bus and deliver the tour bringing her husband along to help with logistics and help make the miles more fun. A few destinations included: New York City, NY, Savannah, GA, the Smoky Mountains with Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg, TN, Waco, TX, the Grand Tetons and Yellowstone National Parks, and several tours to the Ark Encounter. The goal was always introducing people to others, the beauty of God’s creation and to many fun experiences. Although the pandemic stopped all touring in 2020, she was excitedly working on tours for later in 2021 when she suffered what proved to be a fatal heart arrest.
By far her greatest joys came from family events and time spent together celebrating birthdays and holidays. She delighted in the achievements of grandchildren as they advanced through school and loved attending their performances of any type and at any age. Like many others she was extremely distressed at how the pandemic kept grandparents from events and performances. Being present was very important to her.
As her parents aged, she devoted herself to helping them celebrate 70 years of marriage and their respective 90th birthdays and to provide comfort to them at the death of their daughter, Karen’s sister, Sue Bliek. She shared her Mother’s love of flowers and included them in her yard and in her home. She also shared her brother’s tender heart for little animals of all types, especially dogs.
While living back in Inwood, Karen served for 7 years on the Inwood Community Club which sponsors Inwood’s July 4th celebration. There she worked to broaden the number and types of vendors that would purchase booths at the park for the day of the celebration hoping to provide success for them and fun for those attending the celebration.
She had profound faith and great emotional strength. These helped her fight through two diagnoses of Hodgkin’s disease in her thirties and more recently, a battle with metastatic breast cancer in 2018, an aortic valve replacement in 2020 and they also sustained and transported her finally to the goal of her faith—eternity with Jesus.
Those left to cherish her memory:
Husband: Roger Bouwman, Inwood
Children: Jeromy (Dana) Bouwman, Inwood
Chris Bouwman, Sioux Falls
Derrick (Shannon) Bouwman, Sioux Falls
Christian Bouwman, Queens Creek, AZ
Grandchildren: Shelby, Makenah, Jadyn, Brandon, Marissa, Ava and Ruby
Parents: Jim and Sadie Faber
Brother: Dennis Faber
Brother in law: Doug (Leanne) Bliek
Sister in law: Nancy (Klyn) Bouwman
Sister and brother in law: Carol (Bouwman) and Bill Meyer
Preceded in death by:
Infant brother, Michael Faber
Sister: Sue (Faber) Bliek
Father and Mother in law: Dick and Jeanette (Boekestein) Bouwman
Brother in law: Dennis Bouwman
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My sincere sympathies -- Enjoyed our trip with you both to Pigeon Forge, Ark and other places. She and you also Roger were wonderful. Sorry for your loss.
Shirley Gortmaker Jun 11 2021 12:42 PM
We are so sorry to hear of the passing of Karen. We so enjoyed her energy and smile on our bus tours with R&K. She will be deeply missed. Our thoughts and prayers to you and your family in your loss.
LYLE DRESSEN Jun 6 2021 12:00 AM
So sorry for your loss. We enjoyed getting to know the family during their time in Fulton. We pray the Lord will bless you all with His peace.
Pastor Wayne & Mary Wiersema Jun 5 2021 12:00 AM