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After reconvening for the second portion of its Oct. 16 meeting, the Clare County Board of Commissioners got the news via Undersheriff Dwayne Miedzianowski that former commissioner Karen Lipovsky had passed away. A decided pall fell over the board, and comments slowly came forth as remembrances, both personal and professional.
“I just talked to her Saturday night,” said Commissioner Leonard Strouse. “I called her. I was in Florida, and I gave her a call.”
Strouse said he told her about his knee, which he had injured when using a chainsaw.
“I just talked to her too,” said Commissioner Jack Kleinhardt. “We had a good talk, and she told me to take away your ‘damn chainsaw.’ ”
Strouse went on to recall that Lipovsky’s husband had passed away just two hours before the passing of his own wife.
“We’ve talked through the year here,” he said. “I was in Florida Saturday evening and I gave her a call, and said our one year was coming up, the 29th. She told me about her health issues; I knew about them. After I went to my wife’s funeral, I attended the memorial Karen had for Dave that day. It was a tough day for her, and me. I feel really bad about her passing; her and I became really good friends on the board here. We started out kind of rocky when Don David was here, and the Open Meetings Act and with the police investigating us and all…”
Commissioner David Hoefling, who won his seat from Lipovsky in 2018, had some moving, personal comments about her.
“You know, I first met Karen when I was running against her,” he said. “And she was a really good person. It’s really sad to know that she’s gone now, and I feel maybe for the next meeting we should do a resolution memorializing her service. She’s done a lot for this county; she’s been in office for 20 years. I feel something like that would mean a lot to her family.”