In Memory of




Obituary for Karen Radcliffe Molgaard

Karen Radcliffe Molgaard, 79, of Atlantic, IA, died January 20th, 2021 in Atlantic. Karen was the daughter of Frank Searle and Hazel Brown Radcliffe and was born on July 30th, 1941, at Saint Luke’s Hospital in Davenport, IA. Karen was baptized in the Trinity Cathedral of Davenport, IA, and confirmed at Christ Church in Moline, IL. Karen attended Moline public schools and graduated top of her class from Moline High School in 1959. After high school, Karen attended Iowa State University as a member of the Kappa Kappa Gamma sorority and graduated with a Bachelor of Science. During her college education, Karen also spent a year abroad studying at the Sorbonne in Paris. Karen was employed as a high school French teacher after her studies until accepted into the Graduate French program at the University of Colorado.

Karen’s graduate plans were put on hold after her engagement and marriage to John Charles Molgaard on September 25th, 1965 in Philadelphia, PA. They were blessed with two sons, John and Peter. Over the years, Karen worked as a newspaper journalist, was in corporate communications with Ciba Geigy, business owner and homemaker. Karen and John lived in several places including Cedar Rapids, IA, Park Ridge, IL, Summit, NJ, Winston-Salem, NC, Smith Mountain Lake, VA and Geneva, Switzerland before returning to Atlantic, IA in 1990.

Karen was active in each community where she lived. She was a contributing member of the American International Women’s Club of Geneva, the Museum of Danish America, ARISE, PEO, The Questers, and The Browning Literary Club. Volunteering was another of Karen’s pastimes – whether as an election poll worker, blood bank volunteer, or museum volunteer, Karen was most in her element when she was meeting and conversing with others. Karen was passionate about entertaining and hosting others at her various homes and proved an indispensable part of her husband’s business dealings through the years. Karen’s love of travelling took form with many trips to Europe where she developed an affinity of all things French. Karen also adored her dogs and successfully raised a total of nine of them in her time.

Karen is survived by her sons John Radcliffe (Rebecca) Molgaard of Omaha, NE and Peter Folmer (Aubrey) Molgaard of Anita, IA; grandchildren, Sorynn, Benton, Nissa, Grayson and Elin; sisters Dorothy Sease of Boulder, CO and Margaret Radcliffe of Westbrook, CT; numerous cousins, nieces, nephews, other relatives and friends. Preceding Karen in death are her parents, husband and sister, Anne Wimmer.

Open visitation, with no family present, will be from 12:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m., Friday, January 29th at Roland Funeral Home in Atlantic.

Funeral services will be held at 11:00 a.m., Saturday, January 30th at Roland Funeral Home in Atlantic.

Interment will be held in the Immanuel Lutheran Cemetery in Kimballton, IA, at a later date.

Memorials may be directed to the Cass County Health Systems Foundation/Elsie and Louie Hansen Scholarship, ARISE, and the Danish Immigrant Museum in Elk Horn, Iowa.

Roland Funeral Service is caring for Karen’s family and her arrangements. Condolences may be left at

In Her Loving Memory
Karen Molgaard

July 30, 1941 ~ January 20, 2021

At the age of 79 Years, 5 Months & 21 Days

11:00 a.m., Saturday, January 30, 2021
Roland Funeral Service ~ Atlantic, Iowa

The Very Reverend Thomas J. Hurley
Trinity Episcopal Cathedral ~ Omaha, Nebraska

John Radcliffe Molgaard & Rich Perry

Pat McCauley

Dawn Marnin
Diane Martens
Jo Nelson
Theresa Hoheberger
Julie Gade
Michelle Hackwell
Susan Bergen
Nedra Perry
Jody Christoffersen

At a later date
Immanuel Lutheran Cemetery ~ Kimballton, Iowa