Karla Rae Topinka, 50

Karla Rae Topinka, age 50, of Richmond, formerly of Dassel, died Wednesday, April 30, 2014.

She was born Nov. 22, 1963, in Detroit Lakes, to Keith and Ellora Kleven. Karla grew up in Dassel, and graduated from Dassel-Cokato High School in 1982.

She earned her bachelor of science degree in home economics (FACS) from Mankato State University in 1986.

Karla married Ron Topinka Aug. 6, 1988, and the couple started their life together in Richmond.

They have three children, Taylor, Tristin, and Tanisha. Karla loved supporting them in all their arts and activities.

Karla previously taught at Brown Valley High School, and Buffalo Lake-Hector High School. For the last 13 years, she was an educator in the St. Cloud School District, teaching at Tech and Apollo high schools.

Karla loved the outdoors, perfecting her gardens and her lake home; and she enjoyed sharing the fruits of her labors with family and friends. When she wasn’t tending her gardens, she was traveling around the country with her husband and children, hitting all 50 states.

Home economics was a perfect choice for Karla because she loved quilting and sewing. She was a good cook and everyone enjoyed the birthday cakes she personally made for others.

If there was work to be done, Karla was the one who volunteered to help. She was a very generous person, and will also be remembered for her deep trust in the Lord, which was evident to all who knew her kind heart and soft spirit.

Karla is survived by her husband, Ronald Lee Topinka; children Taylor, Tristin, and Tanisha; parents Keith and Ellora Kleven; siblings Kristal (Elmer) Job, Karmin (Sterling) Schraw, and Kari (Kelly) Bergh; and in-laws Harvey (Nancy) Topinka, Louis (Marilyn) Topinka, Debbie (Randy) Swonger, Ruthie Topinka, Duane Topinka, and Diane Topinka.

She was preceded in death by her grandparents, Philip and Alvina Kleven, Harold Sperry, and Annetta (Sperry) Wegter; and sister-in-law Elaine Topinka.

The funeral service took place Saturday, May 3 at 1:30 p.m. at the Apollo High School in St. Cloud, with visitation from 10:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. at the school.

Funeral arrangements were by Wenner Funeral Home in Cold Spring.

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