Cover photo for Kari Kilian's Obituary
Kari Kilian Profile Photo
1973 Kari 2019

Kari Kilian

September 12, 1973 — October 1, 2019


Beloved Kari Laine Kilian, only 46 years of age, passed away on October 1, 2019, in Madison, Wisconsin, of a brain hemorrhage. Known for her keen intellect, exceptionally kind heart, and perseverance in all things, Kari’s body failed her prematurely, but her spirit was never broken.

Kari was born in Rochester, Minnesota, to Terry and Tom Kilian on September 12, 1973. She grew up in Wausau, Wisconsin, proceeding to earn her bachelor’s degree in Spanish and International Retail from the University of Wisconsin Stevens Point (UWSP). Bilingual, Kari was passionate about Latin American languages and cultures, living in Mexico City as a young woman, and carrying her proficiencies into later personal and business life.

Following numerous academic and professional accomplishments, Kari was overcome by serious health issues at a relatively young age. Though her own medical burdens were physically disabling, Kari’s kindness and giving to others never dimmed, nor did her steadfast strength. She will forever be remembered as one who never cowered to a difficult challenge or ceased to vigorously defend her convictions in the face of adversity or power.

Kari is survived by her siblings, Jackie Sullivan and Tom Kilian; her parents Terry Kilian-Lewandowski and Tom Kilian; her stepfather, Don Lewandowski; her stepmother, Sandi Lugiewicz-Kilian; her uncle, Jon Massad; and her niece and nephew, Ashleigh Sullivan and Connor Sullivan.

Private family services are being held. Brainard Funeral Home - Wausau Chapel is assisting the family with arrangements. Online condolences may be shared at

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Kari Kilian, please visit our flower store.


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