Cover photo for Karen D. Krahenbuhl's Obituary
Karen D. Krahenbuhl Profile Photo
1944 Karen 2024

Karen D. Krahenbuhl

October 16, 1944 — March 18, 2024

Cle Elum, Washington

Karen Diane Krahenbuhl, longtime Cle Elum resident, passed away on Monday, March 18, 2024 at 79 years old. Her funeral service will be conducted at 11:00 a.m. on Thursday, March 28, 2024 at the Roslyn Presbyterian Church with committal to follow at Laurel Hill. A reception will follow the committal at the Centennial Center starting at 1:00 p.m.

Karen was born on October 16, 1944 in Tacoma, Washington to Andrew & Dora (Dana) Rakos.  She grew up in Auburn where she attended school, graduating from Auburn High School in 1962. While in school, Karen enjoyed and excelled at playing the accordion and rollerskating and was even part of a dance roller skating club.

Karen met Sam Krahenbuhl in 1963 at the wedding reception of a mutual friend. She always said it wasn’t love at first sight, but that Sam proved to be a determined suitor until she eventually agreed to go out with him. They married on June 20, 1964 and would have celebrated their 60th anniversary this summer. Karen and Sam moved to Cle Elum in 1971 and have been long time residents and members of the community since. Many know of their home on 4th Street where they have lived for 49 years.

Karen had a long and noble career with the City of Cle Elum, serving 10 years as the City Treasurer before transferring to the Cle Elum Police Department where she served for 27 years as the administrative assistant and records manager. She retired from the city in 2011 with a total 37 years of dedicated service. Outside of her work with the city, Karen also volunteered with various groups in the community, at the Presbyterian Church, and was part of the Red Hats Society for many years. Her absence in the community will be greatly missed.

Following retirement, Karen and Sam traveled extensively with their good friends Bill and Sally Nelson. They traveled many places together, including Mount Rushmore, Yellowstone National Park and one of her favorite destinations, Banff, Canada. Aside from her enjoyment of traveling, Karen adored her dog Zoey, who has been her companion for 10 years and was her prized possession. She will be remembered for her beauty, signature red lipstick, bright blue eyes, wonderful personality, always having her hair done absolutely perfectly, and for her love of her family. Her family will always remember walking into their house and Karen being the first person they saw with a smile on her face.

Karen is survived by her husband Sam; son Andy and daughter-in-law Stephanie; daughter Deborah; grandchildren LeRae, Hailey, Hunter and Heather; great-grandson Tanner as well as brothers Bob and Mikey Rakos. She was preceded in death by her parents and brother Richard Rakos.

Memorial contributions in Karen's honor are suggested to the Roslyn Presbyterian Church, the Cle Elum Fire Department or to the Seattle Children's Hospital, a place that holds a special place in her heart after their years of care for her brother.

Arrangements have been entrusted to Johnston & Williams of Cle Elum. Online condolences may be left for the family at

To send flowers to the family in memory of Karen D. Krahenbuhl, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services

Funeral Service

Thursday, March 28, 2024

Starts at 11:00 am (Pacific time)

Roslyn Presbyterian Church

207 North 1st Street, Roslyn, WA 98941

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Reception Following

Thursday, March 28, 2024

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