Karen Patricia (Bergenson) Rodgers, age 71, died peacefully with family at her side on Wednesday September 14, 2022 at Fountain View Assisted Living of Coopersville after a courageous battle with Alzheimer’s Disease.
Karen was born on November 11, 1950 in Yonkers, New York the second of five children to Walter and Ruth (Hogg) Bergenson. She attended St. Mary's Catholic School in Yonkers, NY and Immaculate Conception Catholic School in Tuckahoe, NY. She was a 1969 graduate of Roy C. Ketcham High School in Wappingers Falls, NY.
On May 13, 1972 she married Jim Rodgers in Poughkeepsie, NY and he preceded her in death on May 10, 2008. She moved to Grand Haven, MI following her marriage.
As a young adult, Karen was a bookkeeper for an insurance company and a cashier at Barkers Department Store in New York. She was a stay-at-home mom until her girls were in high school, making sure a hot dinner was on the table every night for her family. She was a Girl Scout leader for 12 years for both of her daughter’s troops. After that, she worked at Northland Evergreen Farm, sold insurance and was a nurse’s aide for developmentally disabled adults and Alzheimer’s patients.
Karen was a person of strong faith. She attended St. Anthony’s Catholic Church in Robinson Township and St. Patrick’s Catholic Church in Grand Haven. She was a lector, served as Altar Society treasurer, was an attendant at Adoration Chapel, served as a CCD teacher and was active in the women’s Bible study group.
Karen studied ballroom dancing in her youth and she was fond of showing off her dancing skills throughout her life. She also loved listening to music especially that of Bobby Sherman, church hymns, country music and her favorite band the Carpenters.
Karen enjoyed reading, playing rummy, doing puzzles, watching The Waltons, Touched by An Angel, Highway to Heaven and Mother Angelica pray the rosary on tv. In the 1970s, Karen and Jim participated in many snowmobile races throughout the Great Lakes area. Karen was also an avid bowler participating in mixed doubles leagues with Jim and ladies leagues at Starlight Lanes in Grand Haven. She also enjoyed watching soap operas with her father-in-law Leon who she cared for in his final years.
Karen was a wonderful cook known for her Thanksgiving dinners and homemade lasagna which took all day to make and was eagerly gobbled up whenever she brought it to a potluck. She baked her daughter’s homemade birthday cakes every year and made special birthday dinners of lasagna with her amazing homemade meat sauce.
Karen and Jim lived for many years at Pinewood Place senior living in Grand Haven. In April 2022, Karen moved into Fountain View Assisted Living of Coopersville where she lived out the remaining months of her life making new friends and charming everyone with her kindness and friendly smile.
Karen is survived by daughters Jennifer (Dan) LeMaire of Coopersville, MI and Tracy (Dennis) St. James of Mt. Morris, MI; Grandchildren Molly and Abigail LeMaire, Alexandria Gordon, Fred (Ashley) Gordon and Caitlyn St. James; Great granddaughter Olive Sapienza; Sister Barbara (Howard) Hanlon of Mooresville, NC; Brothers Robert Bergenson of Mooresville, NC and Walter (Angela) Bergenson of Fishkill, NY as well as many beloved nieces, nephews, cousins and friends.
She was preceded in death by her husband Jim, brother William Bergenson and her parents Walter and Ruth Bergenson.
The Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at 11 am on Saturday, September 24, 2022 at St. Michael’s Catholic Church 17150 88th Ave, Coopersville, MI with Fr. Michael Hodges presiding. All are invited to share fellowship and memories with the family at a luncheon immediately following the mass.
A private burial will follow at a later date at Lakeshore Cemetery in Grand Haven Township.
The family would like to extend a sincere thank you to all of Karen’s caregivers at Fountain View Assisted Living of Coopersville and Faith Hospice for their compassionate and professional care throughout her journey.