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KariAnn R. Uecker, 31

US Veteran KariAnn Ruth Uecker, age 31, of Mankato, passed away Tuesday April 5, 2016, at Mayo Clinic Hospital, St. Mary’s Campus in Rochester.

She was born Nov. 13, 1984, in Edina, the daughter of Barry and Peggy (Schumacher) Uecker. KariAnn was baptized at St. Peter’s Church in Edina; and confirmed at Zion Lutheran Church in Mayer.

KariAnn attended Lutheran High School in Mayer, and Ridgewater college (post secondary), graduating May, 2003. She then attended army basic training at Fort Jackson, SC July 2003. Upon completion of basic training, she was assigned to the 847 personal services battalion in Fort Snelling.

Her unit deployed December 2003 to Kuwait in operation Iraqi Freedom 2. Upon returning from the deployment, she was assigned a short active duty tour at STL HRC. Following this tour, she was assigned an AGR program at the 353 maintenance company in Buffalo.

KariAnn also attended classes at Mankato State University, obtaining her associate’s degree.

The 353 transportation company then deployed overseas in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom 2. From the date of her return from this deployment, she was under medical care, ultimately being medically retired from the military in 2015. Freedom is not free. In 2003, when KariAnn signed up for the military, she chose to sign a blank check for our country, and now that check has been cashed.

KariAnn was preceded in death by her grandparents, Ruben Schumacher, and Eldon and Lillian Uecker; uncle Kerry Schumacher; aunt Kathy Uecker.

She is survived by her loving family: parents Barry and Peggy Uecker of Mayer; brother Gylian Uecker of Mayer; sister Jamie Uecker of Texas; service dog Sonya; grandmother Opal Schumacher of Mayer; aunts and uncles Vance (Melanie) Schumacher, Tara (Gary) Chanen of Mayer, all of Mayer, Gerald (Brenda) Uecker of Pike Lake, Janice (Tom) Graeff of Apple Valley, Allan (Kathy) Uecker of Winsted, LuAnn (Jerry) Moy of Lester Prairie, Bruce Uecker, Arvid Uecker, both of Montrose, David (Julie) Uecker of Glencoe, and Susan (Craig) Leaf of Minnetonka; cousins; and other relatives and friends.

KariAnn’s funeral service took place Saturday, April 9, at 11 a.m. at Zion Lutheran Church in Mayer, with the Revs. Lucas Woodford and Adam Gless officiating. There was visitation Friday April 8 from 4 to 8 p.m. at the church, and Saturday, one hour prior to the service. Interment will be at Fort Snelling National Cemetery.

Casket bearers were Jason Uecker, Mark Graeff, Chase Feltmann, Ryan Chanen, R.T. Ragan, Chad Hoerl, Lance Schoenke, and Joshua Blade.

Honorary casket bearers were Sophia Schumacher and Anna Schumacher.

Arrangements were with the Johnson Funeral Home in Waconia; www.johnsonfh.com.

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