Karen was a Colorado native with a family history dating back more than 120 years in Colorado. She graduated from Lakewood High School in 1957, and then went on to attend Colorado State University. She met Ed Carroll, an engineering student at CSU, on a “blind” date, and they later married on Sept. 11, 1959.
In the early 1960s, Karen was an editor for the U.S. Geological Service, editing documents for USGS scientists. In 1964, she was promoted to the most important job of mother. She went into labor with her first child while riding in a Chris Craft speedboat. Karen and Ed would later cruise thousands of miles in small boats throughout the U.S. and Canada.
Karen was an avid tennis player. She played competitive tennis at the Fort Collins Country Club and the Tennis Center for many, many years, winning several championship trophies. Long after cancer and a knee replacement ended her tennis career, her tennis group continued to be lifelong friends. These tennis friends have been one of Karen’s longest and most sustained support groups through her 20-plus year tournament with cancer.
Summer and fall would usually find Karen in Maine, where she and Ed would spend the months hiking and biking; canoeing and sailing. She had a beautiful flower garden down by the water that she tended. Evenings, she and Ed would sit down by the water to watch the sun set over the harbor. Many wonderful family gatherings took place at their home in Maine.
The one word that defines Karen is “kind.” Friend after friend has said that Karen was the kindest person they’d ever met. She had never spoken a negative word about any person. And you could see the kindness in her smile. Her kindness was infectious.
For nearly 20 years, she delivered Meals on Wheels every week. Even late in life she would act as a substitute driver. She spread her compassion through her children and grandchildren. She lived a life of grace that spread like the ripples of a stone thrown into the water.
Karen is survived by her loving husband, Edward Peter Carroll; sons, John Charles (Katherine) Carroll, Peter Robert Clery (Rebecca) Carroll; daughter, Jennifer Carroll (Gregg) MacKeigan; brother, Robert Klein; sister, Barbara Johnson; grandchildren, Amelia, Charlie, Ben, Ian, Annie, Mia and Wyatt.
A visitation will be held on Tuesday, Feb. 3, 2014, from 10 to 11 a.m. at the Redeemer Lutheran Church in Fort Collins, Colo., followed by the funeral service at 11 a.m. Interment will take place at Grandview Cemetery at 2 p.m.
The Carroll family would like to thank Dr. Abbey and Dr. Medgyesy for their outstanding service. We would also like to give a huge “Thank You” to the incredibly talented and compassionate nursing staff at the PVH Intensive Care Unit. And finally, we’d like to thank Dr. Elias, director for breast cancer research at the University of Colorado Medical Center.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to UC Health Cancer Center and Oncology Services, Fort Collins, CO 80528 (PVH and MCR Foundation) or Meals On Wheels, in care of Allnutt Funeral Service, 650 W. Drake Road, Fort Collins, CO 80526.
Please visit www.allnutt.com to view Karen’s online obituary and leave a message of condolence for the family.