Karen (Arnold) Groninger, 56, Burlington, died Tuesday, June 11, 2013, at home with her family by her side.
Karen Marie Arnold was born Jan. 30, 1956, the daughter of Lloyd and Janet (Rodal) Arnold, in Frankfort, Mich. She grew up in Frankfort, which is nestled in a bay along the shores of Lake Michigan. Karen loved sports, especially basketball. She was an athletic director for over 20 years. As a member of the North Dakota Interscholastic Athletic Administrators Association (NDIAAA) she made many friends throughout the state that shared in this profession.
Karen married Jerry Pearo on July 12, 1975. They made their home in various locations as Jerry worked as an iron worker, eventually coming to North Dakota where Jerry helped build several electrical power plants. Karen, in turn, became employed as a teacher in the White Shield School District. On Aug. 17, 1984, Karen became a widow when Jerry died accidentally in his line of work. They had no children.
Karen loved teaching at White Shield and stayed. This is where she met a Douglas farm boy, Delwyn Groninger, who came to coach the White Shield Warriors basketball team for five years. They fell in love and were married on Oct. 11, 1986.
Karen quit teaching for a while to be a stay-at-home mom to four beautiful children. She returned to teach the alternative program at White Shield and then in 2007 she became the high school principal at Des Lacs, where she continued until an illness, acute myeloid leukemia (AML), forced her to take a leave of absence.
Surviving family includes: parents, Lloyd and Janet Arnold, of Frankfort, Mich.; husband Delwyn Groninger, of Burlington; daughters, Jarette Groninger, of Oakes, Janae (Seth) Gravesen, of Berthold; sons, Jordan Groninger, of Anchorage, Alaska; Jayden Groninger, of Burlington; brother, Richard (Donna) Arnold, of Benzonia, Mich.; special family friend, Valari (Bob) Berger, of Minot; and several nieces and nephews, aunts and uncles.
Funeral: Saturday, June 15, 2013, at 11 a.m. at Peace Lutheran Church, Burlington.
Interment: Burlington Township Cemetery, Burlington.
Visitation: Friday, June 14, from 4 until 7 p.m. at Thompson-Larson Funeral Home, Minot.
Memorials: May be made in Karen's honor to the American Cancer Society Hope Lodge of Rochester, Minn., or the Peace Lutheran Church Building Fund of Burlington.
Those wishing to sign the online register and share memories may access the online obituaries section at (www.thompsonlarson.com).