Cortney Ofstad/Daily Globe
HARLEY DAVIDSON riders travel down Burma Road near Hiawatha in Ironwood, Thursday in honor of Karen Winkowski, of Ironwood. Winkowski was an avid biker and passed away from cancer Monday morning.
IRONWOOD — All her life, Karen Winkowski, of Ironwood, was a “Harley Honey.” She loved Harley Davidson motorcycles and the sound they made.
A couple of weeks ago, Winkowski was diagnosed with cancer. She was given two days to live, and fought for two weeks. According to neighbor and friend Donald “Lucky” Morrison, Jr ., she didn’t want an obituary or funeral. She wanted to hear Harley Davidson motorcycles.
“She loved that sound and wanted to hear that rumble,” Morrison said. “It was her dying wish.”
So her family and friends began to plan for a ride near her house in Ironwood. The reached out through fellow bikers, Facebook and by word-of-mouth to have as many bikers as possible join the event.
However, Winkowski passed away at 12:58 a.m. Monday, just 15 hours before the ride. Instead of canceling the event, Morrison said they continued because “it was something she wanted.”
“All of these bikers rallied for her,” Morrison said. “It’s just awesome.”
More than 15 bikers from all over the area lined up near Hiawatha in Ironwood and rumbled in honor of Winkowski. They traveled past her home on Houk Street, where family and friends watched.
“She loved everybody and gave her all,” Morrison said. “She never asked for anything. That was Karen. But, I know she is smiling right now.”
Another event is scheduled in honor of Winkowski in the future, according to Morrison. A date has not yet been set.
“The Bad River Tribe will be officiating her last ride, and we’re hoping to make it a ‘Fight Cancer’ ride,” Morrison said. “Thanks to these riders for showing up. I know that Karen is smiling. This is for her.”