Karen Ann Trinko, 76 of Eau Claire passed away on Friday, February 15, 2019.

Karen was born to Karl and Virginia (Conner) Batcher on November 18, 1942 in Minneapolis. She lived in Milwaukee, La Crosse, St. Paul, and Eau Claire and was a full time mom. In her later years she graduated from UW-Eau Claire with honors as a non-traditional student.

Karen is survived by her children: Mari Laskaskie, Thomas Trinko, and Dominic Trinko as well as 5 grandchildren.

Karen was preceded in death by her first son Michael Joseph who died 3 days after birth, her father and mother Karl and Virginia, her brother Ken, and her stepfather Abraham Levich.

Karen will be laid to rest on Friday March 1 during a private Catholic burial ceremony at Gate of Heaven Catholic Cemetery in La Crosse. Family and friends may leave online condolences at www.smithfuneralec.com.

Karen’s faith guided her throughout her life, and she had a devotion in particular to the Virgin Mary. She chose a life of poverty, humility, solitude, and simplicity as a manifestation of that faith. She prayed often for others. In lieu of flowers, gifts, or memorials, the family requests that you include her in your prayers. Nothing would make her happier.

“O Divine Master,

Grant that I may not so much seek

To be consoled as to console;
To be understood as to understand;
To be loved as to love.

For it is in giving that we receive;
It is in pardoning that we are pardoned;
And it is in dying that we are born to eternal life.”


  1. Karen will be missed. Sure did enjoy talking with her. She was empowered to speak out for what she believed in, in a time where more people should stand up for their convictions, especially what is good, moral, and right. The world would be a better place.

    The Gates of Heaven opened, and she was greeted by a choir of Angels and those that went before, and she heard, “well done, good and faithful servant.”

    My thoughts and prayers are sent up to Heaven for her family, at this difficult time.

  2. Karen was a treasure. Met her over 8 years ago. At Kwik Trip on Madison Street. Shared her stories of education and work at UWEC. I was happy when she greeted me by my name. Didn’t argue politics with her. I will miss seeing her. Red coat and braids. Amazing lady. Sending good memories to her family. Take care.

  3. I am so sad to hear about this!! I lived in Eau Claire for 5 years and Karen walked by my apartment every day. We would stop and talk for hours!! She was so nice and was so passionate. My heart goes out to her family. She is an Eau Claire icon to me!! Prayers.

  4. She was an amazing individual. I met her through an Islam course at UWEC. She impressed me with her kindness towards others (in particular, the homeless and incarcerated), her intelligence, and her devotion to her Catholic faith. She was a good listener, and was always thoughtful with her responses. She walked all over EC. Everyone will miss seeing her on her journeys around the Chippewa Valley.

  5. She was such a sweet and kind woman. I got to know her during my time UWEC from 2006 to 2010. She exuded such joy that was contagious whenever you interacted with her.

    And she did love to talk! But it was always so thought provoking and engaging that you couldn’t help but love it.

    So glad to learn that she had such a devotion to our blessed mother Mary. May perpetual light shine upon her.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Post comment