Karen Holcomb Mennen

June 27, 2010

Karen Holcomb Mennen 67 of Rural Kirklin, IN, died at 3:45 p.m. June 27, 2010 at St. Vincent Hospital, Indianapolis, IN. Born May 15, 1943 in Edinburgh, IN to the late Hosey William & Josephine (King) Holcomb. She married Gene Mennen on May 29, 1991 in Lebanon and he survives. Mrs. Mennen was a 1960 graduate of Madison High School and received her Bachelor degree from I.U. and her Master degree from Butler University. An English Teacher, she taught at Clinton Central High School for over 30 years, retiring in 1999. She was a member of the Indiana State Teachers Assoc. (ISTA), Delta Kappa Gamma Education Sorority and received the Hoosier Teacher of English Award in 1991. She enjoyed reading and oil painting.

Visitation and Services

Private Family Services will be held, with burial in Zionsville Cemetery.

Survived by:

Husband: Gene Mennen of Rural Kirklin 2 Sisters: Gail (Will) Sims of Hanover and Kathy (Jaye) Holcomb Lahee of Columbus Step Daughter: Christine Mennen of Indianapolis Step Son: Brett (Debbie) Mennen of Michigantown 1 Grandchild, Kelsey Mennen Special Niece, Sheila Sims of Madison and several other nieces and nephews also survive.


7 Condolences for “Karen Holcomb Mennen”

  1. Kathy Lahee June 28, 2010 at 10:39 pm

    My sister Karen was my mentor. She was 7 1/2 years older than me and she taught me so much more about teaching than I learned in college. When I was having trouble in my classes, she helped me because she had had so much experience. When I had started teaching, she had already mentored several student teachers. Karen was a great teacher to her students. She taught college prep English classes, and her students often came back and told her how they appreciated her guidance because they were so prepared for college. She led her students to winning state academic competitions. Karen was a gifted artist. Her oil paintings were admired by friends and family. She was an avid reader and could read a paperback book in a couple of hours. She was so witty. At Christmas time with our family get-togethers, she was the life of the party. She loved to sing and my sister Gail and I tried to harmonize, but often the other members of the family would cringe. We didn’t really care because we were having such a good time. Karen didn’t have any children of her own, but being a teacher for so many years, she nurtured thousands of kids. She was a generous, loving aunt. She cared about her family and spent time with us in Madison, although in her later days her illness prevented her from traveling. She will be always remembered and missed by us all. We love you so much.- Your sister, Kathy

  2. Jud Costlow June 29, 2010 at 8:33 am

    Dear Gene,
    I am sorry to hear of your wife’s death. You have my sympathy. It is tough to lose a wife. I lost Sara to cancer in 2000. Please extend my condolences to the rest of your family. I hope you are well.
    Jud Costlow

  3. Jessica Mitchell Walker June 29, 2010 at 8:02 pm

    Please accept my condolences, as it is with great sorrow that I learn of Karen’s passing. I will be forever indebted to Karen. She was a phenomenal teacher and I am fortunate to have been in three of her classes. I know that it was impossible to replace her as a teacher, and I am sure that holds true in all aspects of her life. I know that I am a better person for having known her. She will always hold a special place in my heart.
    Jessica Walker

  4. Marilyn Hughes Franatz June 30, 2010 at 11:11 am

    I are so sorry to hear of Karen’s death. This is a path we did not choose to walk, but we must walk just the same. I have learned to take things a day at a time, sometimes one minute at a time.
    God Bless you in the days and weeks and beyond!
    Your cousin Marilyn

  5. Kristen “Cooper” Cheek June 30, 2010 at 7:10 pm

    Dear Gene,
    I am so sorry to hear of Karen’s passing. I know I have spoken with you in the past about how much she meant to me throughout my high school years. She truly was one of the best teachers I ever had. I was lucky enough to have her twice for English, once for a speech class, and 3 yrs. for academic super bowl. She pushed me to write the best material I have ever written and probably ever will. (She’d probably be assessing this now for grammatical errors!!!) At my graduation, she took the time to come to my party and to give me a long note that said she considered me not only a student, but a friend. That meant so much to me and I still have that card after all these years. She will be missed! God Bless!
    Kristen Cheek

  6. Gail Sims July 1, 2010 at 12:07 pm

    Karen was my first little sister. She was born when I was three years old. She had a flair for taking a mundane statement and beefing it up to be more interesting. She always said, “I was born on an ironing board in Edinburg, Indiana”. Being born at home was to be born in a make-shift birthing area so she was right. When she was old enough and we walked anywhere I had to make sure she was by my side. I did not like to be noticed but with Karen’s dancing, chattering and fluttering along we were definitely noticed. As a teen, Karen knew what she wanted which was a higher education. She worked and paid her way…I don’t mean, just helped out with her college costs…she paid it all. When she was awarded her college diploma she owned it! She was a successful teacher and prepared many students for college. She eventually surrounded herself with furs, diamonds, lovely decorating and her own fabulous paintings. Was this woman also a fine and fancy food lover? She did like good food but her favorites were always Mom’s navy beans and cornbread with lots of butter and pickles on the side or Mom’s home made vegetable soup. It would take the rest of my days to write all the fun times and laughs we had growing up together. ~I miss the good times~ Gail

  7. Suzie Lytle Kephart July 8, 2010 at 6:35 pm

    Dear Kathy,
    I am sorry to hear about your loss! Just wanted to let you know I am thinking of you!

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