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Karen Eaton

February 24, 1950 - November 15, 2015
Vicksburg, MI

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Visitations


Sunday, November 22, 2015
2:00 PM to 4:00 PM EST
Life Story Funeral Homes - Rupert, Durham, Marshall & Gren
Vicksburg Location
409 South Main Street
Vicksburg, MI 49097
(269) 649-1697
Driving Directions

Sunday, November 22, 2015
6:00 PM to 8:00 PM EST
Life Story Funeral Homes - Rupert, Durham, Marshall & Gren
Vicksburg Location
409 South Main Street
Vicksburg, MI 49097
(269) 649-1697
Driving Directions

Services


Monday, November 23, 2015
11:00 AM EST
Life Story Funeral Homes - Rupert, Durham, Marshall & Gren
Vicksburg Location
409 South Main Street
Vicksburg, MI 49097
(269) 649-1697
Driving Directions

Contributions


At the family's request memorial contributions are to be made to those listed below. Please forward payment directly to the memorial of your choice.

Cambri's Climb
c/o Life story Funeral Homes, 409 S. Main St.
Vicksburg, MI 49097
(269) 649-1697

Please make checks payable to Cambri's Climb.

Web Site

West Michigan Cancer Center
200 North Park Street
Kalamazoo, MI 49007
(269) 382-2500
Driving Directions
Web Site

Flowers


Below is the contact information for a florist recommended by the funeral home.

Schafer's Flowers Inc.
3274 Stadium Drive
Kalamazoo, MI 49008
(800) 760-7050
Driving Directions
Web Site

Wedel's Nursery Florist & Garden Center
5020 Texas Drive
Kalamazoo, MI 49009
(269) 345-1195
Driving Directions

Ambati
1830 S. Westnedge
Kalamazoo, MI 49008
(269) 349-4961
Driving Directions
Web Site

Life Story / Obituary


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Print

While creating forever memories with those she loved, Karen Eaton lived and loved completely at every opportunity. An amazing woman, she possessed many talents, but her strength of heart knew no bounds. Karen’s kindness and warmth was welcomed by all. She always looked for the needs of others, gave unconditionally, and nurtured with a caring heart. With a smile that could light up a room, her encouraging and positive nature found many who enjoyed her company. Gone but never to be forgotten, Karen will be deeply missed.

Although conservative in nature, the decade of the 1950s sculpted the culture of America. Everything from music to movies, art and media to beloved comic strips and cartoons introduced households to a whole new way of life. With manufacturing and home construction on the rise, the economy boomed as the suburban dream was being realized. Amid these exciting times, the Korean War monopolized the news waves and the ever present threat of a Cold War loomed. It was indeed a time of change as well as blessings, especially in the lives of Robert and Helen (Wolthuis) Oswalt of Kalamazoo, Michigan when on February 24, 1950 they welcomed the birth of their little girl, Karen into their arms.

A lifelong resident of the Fulton and Vicksburg area, Karen was born at Bronson Hospital in Kalamazoo and was raised on their family farm in Fulton alongside her sister, Phyllis. A typical tomboy, Karen loved to help drive the farm tractors and experienced numerous adventures as a girl on the farm. A lover of cats since her earliest years, she loved dressing her cats up in doll clothes. She and her sister often made dolls out of flowers and enjoyed watching them float in the water troughs, as well. Karen attended the area schools, and with her outgoing and fun-loving nature, she was a friend of many. In high school she played the flute in the marching band before graduating from Vicksburg High School with the Class of 1968.

After high school, Karen went on to further her education for a year at Western Michigan University. She then began working as a teller for First of America Bank. As fate would have it, while working at the bank, Karen went out one evening to Coral Gables with some friends where she met a handsome military Veteran. Even with his long hair and beard, Karen’s heart was forever changed the night she met Ronald Lee, and the feeling was mutual. Instantly attracted to one another, the two became the best of friends. In time they began dating, fell deeply in love, and on September 25, 1971, they married their best friend, each other.

Karen made a good home for Ron and soon, their only child, Jason Cole. Always a proud mother, Karen relished her role and offered unconditional, loving care in ways only she could. She was a woman of many talents, and made many of Jason’s clothes when he was little with her sewing skills. She and Ron also enjoyed making bracelets and speaker hangers in macramé together. Karen loved to crochet and knit, and through the years she made beautiful pieces and gifts which will serve as a reminder of her unending love. She loved to read and had a few favorites, but she mainly chose whatever interested her.

When her son entered school, Karen returned to working outside of her home. After working as a bank teller for a couple years, she found her true passion as a florist. Karen took a job at Romance Gardens as a transplant worker eventually becoming an award winning grower. In 1984 she received an award for growing poinsettias. Her love of flowers eventually led her to Christine’s Flowers where she served as manager. Although the business changed ownership four times while Karen continued to be employed there, she often joked that she was sold as slave labor each time! Eventually the store became Rosewood Flowers from where she eventually retired in June of 2014. Karen’s love of flowers was also quite evident in her beautiful flower gardens at home. She had a lifelong love for gardening, including wonderful vegetable gardens.

Karen nurtured with love in everything she did. This was especially true when she became a grandmother to five grandchildren who brought her the greatest joy. She spent time with them at every opportunity, and her love for them truly exemplified her extraordinary, giving heart. Her grandson loved her fresh green beans picked straight from her garden. She was good cook and was known for her delicious Mac n’ cheese, green bean casserole, no bake chocolate cookies, stuffed hot dogs, cheesecake bites, and scrumptious chocolate-cherry cake. However, her grandson’s favorite happened to be her spaghetti. It was nothing famous or extra special; it came out of a jar, but no one made it quite like Karen.

Through the years, Karen and Ron shared their love of travel. They took many trips to Mexico, and went on a seven island cruise. Their most loved trip of all was a trip to Curacao which made for unforgettable times together. Karen’s love knew no bounds, which also included her feline companions. Her lifelong love of cats found her having many throughout the years. Her cat, Betty just recently passed away, and her beloved Millie was by her side during the course of Karen’s illness. She never left her side and offered Karen soothing calm when she was near.

Even in the throes of illness, Karen was concerned about the wellbeing of everyone else. For those who knew her best, Karen will be remembered for her bubbly personality, and the wonder of her beautiful smile. With her ever present generosity and care, Karen encompassed a warm and loving demeanor which will never be forgotten. Deeply missed, Karen sadly died with her husband by her side and her cat, Millie on her lap at home following a five month battle with cancer. Although gone from love’s embrace, her spirit lives on in the hearts of those who came to know and love her.

Karen L. Eaton, age 65 of Vicksburg passed away at her home on Sunday, November 15, 2015 after a battle with lung cancer. Visit with Karen’s family on Sunday, November 22 from 2-4:00 and 6-8 p.m. at Life Story Funeral Homes, Vicksburg; 409 S. Main Street (649-1697) where a Memorial Service will be held on Monday, November 23 at 11:00 a.m. Karen was preceded in death by her father, Robert Oswalt and by her mother, Helen Bennett. She is survived by her husband, Ronald; son, Jason (Tracy) Eaton; grandchildren, Jarrett and Jaden Eaton, Shan Pileri, Taylor and Brooke Misel; her stepfather, Harland Bennett; sister, Phyllis (Gene) Orton; stepsiblings, Sandra (Tom) Johnson and Larry (Marilyn) Bennett; brother-in-laws, Robert (Sue) Eaton and David (Viola) Eaton; nephew, Robert (Pam) Orton and their daughter, Sophie; her special friend, Jill Lindsley and her kitty, Millie as well as many other relatives. Visit Karen’s memory page at www.lifestorynet.com where you can share a favorite memory and sign her guestbook. Memorial donations can be made to the Peace, Love & Hope for Cambri or West Michigan Cancer Center.

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