Karen VanLaecken Brinker


January 15, 1955 - March 16, 2021


Karen VanLaecken Brinker, 66, of Mitchell, SD, died Tuesday, March 16, 2021 at her home under hospice care in Mitchell. A memorial service will be held at a later date. Arrangements by Bittner Funeral Chapel.

Karen Marie VanLaecken-Brinker was born January 15, 1955 to Lawrence and Irena (Christian) VanLaecken at Sioux Valley Hospital in Sioux Falls, SD. She grew up in Letcher, SD with her brother Rodney. She attended Letcher High School, but graduated in Colorado. After high school, Karen attended both Dakota Wesleyan University and Augustana University for a year.

Karen met Rick Brinker, and became the mother of four children who she loved dearly. Rick and Karen were together for 37 years.

Karen loved country music; George Jones was her favorite. Every summer Karen could not wait to camp with her children and grandchildren, and visit her siblings in Texas.  

Karen is survived by her husband, Rick; sons, James and John both of Mitchell; daughter, Laurie Briel of Mitchell; 13 grandchildren; brothers Bruce, Vince, and Howard of Texas; sister, Tammy of Texas; and multiple nieces and nephews.

She is preceded in death by her parents; step-daughter, Angela Finney; and brother, Rodney VanLaecken.


To Be Announced


To Be Announced


To Be Announced

Posted by Barb Novotny on March 23, 2021
Rick and family, So sorry to hear about Karen. Our thoughts and prayers are with you.
Rob and Barb
Posted by Mary Moe on March 23, 2021
Rick and family,
Jack and I are so sorry to hear of your loss. We enjoyed getting to know Karen when we went camping with your grandsons. Mary Moe and Jack Winter
Posted by Ronald Bick on March 22, 2021
Rick sorry to hear of your loss
Posted by Major Linda Jones on March 19, 2021
So sorry for your loss. Karen will be missed. Praying for you and your family.
Posted by Lynn TerMeer ,,,,, on March 19, 2021
So Sorry For Your Loss ! Karen Was A Very Special Lady & Friend,,,,,,, She Will be Greatly Missed ....Forever Remembers,,,Never Forgotten ,,,,, !! Till We See Her Again ..RIP Karen ,,,,You are LOVED. & MISSED 🙏.
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