Ever Rest Funeral Home and Cremation Chapel

1783 East Keating Ave, Muskegon, MI


Karen Ruth Waalkens

August 10, 1943March 17, 2020

Karen Ruth Waalkens, age 76, passed away peacefully while holding hands with her girls on March 17, 2020, in Muskegon, Michigan. She was born on August 10, 1943 to Dennis and Martha Johnson in Muskegon, Michigan.

Karen was a life long Muskegon resident who graduated from Muskegon High School. She trained as an X-ray Technician at Hackley Hopsital and worked for both Hackley and Mercy Hospitals until she had children. After raising her children she returned to school to pursue a degree in Early Childhood Development at Muskegon Community College. She worked as a Preschool Assistant, and as an Elementary School Aid at Pennsylvania Elementary School. She also worked at D&W as a Baker and later trained as a State Certified Financial Planner working for MEA Financial Services until she retired. Karen enjoyed spending time in her English Cottage style gardens, traveling, and spending time with family at the family cottage up North. Karen volunteered for literacy programs and enjoyed reading with students one-on-one. Karen had attended Covenant Community Church, and later Forest Park Covenant Church where she was active in many church activities including, Chairman of the Church, Women's Circle, Morning Star Bible Study, Financial Budgeting Programs through Love, Inc., Mary and Joseph's Houses, Mission Trips to Alaska and Kentucky, Vacation Bible School, and Sunday School. She had also been part of a neighborhood Bible Study that met for over 20 years.

Karen was preceded in death by her husband Peter T. Waalkens, parents, Dennis and Martha Johnson, parent in-laws, Peter and Rena Waalkens, brother-in-law Herbert Waalkens, and nephew Andrew Waalkens She is survived by her children Kristina Waalkens, Renee and Jeffrey Ferguson, grandchildren Alexander Ferguson, Jacqueline and Stephen Erny, great-grandchildren Charles, Isabelle, Rosalie and David Erny, siblings, Jean (John) Plekes, Rena (Michael) Masyga and Barb Waalkens, cousin, Mindy (Bradley) Anderson, neices and nephews, Martha Plekes, Dennis(Tara) Plekes, Michael (Linda) Waalkens, Jay (Sue) Waalkens.

Due to the current situation with the Covid - 19 outbreak, no services have been scheduled at this time.


  • A Memorial Service is planned for later in the Spring of 2020.


Karen Ruth Waalkens

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Kay Slater

March 22, 2020

Karen was such an inspiration throughout her life. She was involved in and was a leader in numerous ministries at our church. She was so creative and had good ideas that she was willing to share with others. We enjoyed working with Karen and Pete on the Alaska and Kentucky mission trips. They worked hard but also shared warm times of fellowship.

Karen truly cherished each member of her family. When I visited her, she always shared the latest updates and pictures. Karen loved going on every adventure with you.
Our heart felt sympathy to all of Karen’s family. We know you will miss her and we do too.