Karen Maxwell

February 11, 1958 - October 1, 2015
Portage, MI



Sunday, October 4, 2015
2:00 PM to 5:00 PM EDT
Life Story Funeral Homes - Rupert, Durham, Marshall & Gren
Portage Location
5975 Lovers Lane
Portage, MI 49002
(269) 344-5600
Driving Directions


Monday, October 5, 2015
1:00 PM EDT
Pathfinder Church
8740 S. Westnedge Ave.
Portage, MI 49002
(269) 327-6761
Web Site


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.

In Memory of Karen Maxwell

Those who wish may make a memorial donation in Karen's name to benefit her sons Trent and Parker. Donations can be made at any Fifth Third Bank branch with checks payable to Renee Callahan.


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

VanderSalm's Flipse
1120 S. Burdick
Kalamazoo, MI 49001
(800) 232-7134
Driving Directions
Web Site

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

Life Story / Obituary


Karen Lukins Maxwell was a vibrant woman with a warm heart. She cared deeply for her family and attracted friends with her bright personality and infectious laugh. Her interests were broad and her creativity was boundless. Throughout her life, Karen was truly loved and loving.

Karen Ann was born at William Crispe Hospital in Plainwell, Michigan on February 11, 1958 at the height of the baby boom era. The advent of television enabled Americans to view the world from the comfort of their living rooms, and mainframe computers were revolutionizing society.

Karen was the third of David and Darlene (Erickson) Lukins’ four children, and she shared an active childhood with siblings Connie, Renee and David as they grew up on a small farm in Plainwell. She and her sister Renee kept horses, and Karen showed her quarter horse Ginger in 4-H competitions. Being athletic, she played softball and basketball and had an active social life in high school. Always well liked, Karen was crowned homecoming queen her senior year at Plainwell High School. In her last years of high school, she also attended Tracy’s Beauty Academy in Kalamazoo, so after high school graduation she went right to work as a hair stylist.

The majority of Karen’s career was spent at John Bosch Salon, and one particular hair cut was especially appreciated. Dan Maxwell had come for a cut once before, but after a second appointment, he asked Karen for a date. They began a relationship that grew into love and marriage in 1994. Their loving home included two sons (Trent and Parker), and visits with Dan’s two older sons (Jevin and Ryan), Karen’s heart filled with acceptance and love.

The Maxwell house was full, too. With two boys at home there always seemed to be extra kids around. The family room became a gathering spot for all the boys` friends, and there were times when Karen woke up in the morning to find that their numbers had multiplied over night.

Karen made her home a welcoming place by her personality but also her creativity. The landscape was made beautiful by her flower gardens, and the interior was made fresh and inviting each time she redecorated. Good food was a hallmark of the Maxwell home, with Karen eager to try recipes she viewed on cooking shows. Her family and friends were most often recipients of her inspiration, but on Karen’s birthday, her mom and sister always presented her with a red velvet cake. Karen was a very generous person, giving to others even when she was stretched herself.

Adding to the household busyness were Karen’s pets. Over the years, she had many cats and dogs in the house, some of them quite large. The soft spot she had for animals led her to take in rescue pets, the most recent being a new best friend—Missy, a Chihuahua.

Keeping an active pace in life, Karen actually enjoyed exercise classes and even took up belly dancing for a while. On the quieter side, she liked to crochet or curl up with a mystery novel. Such variety was characteristic of her readiness to live life to the fullest.

Karen had her struggles as well, yet she knew to reach out to others. She found wonderful support from attending AA meetings and made true friends she could count on no matter what. Many of them called her inspiring and a true friend.

As summer came to a close, Karen’s body began failing her and she was admitted to Bronson Methodist Hospital in Kalamazoo, Michigan where she passed away on Thursday, October 1, 2015.

Karen Ann Maxwell will be dearly missed and lovingly remembered by her cherished family and friends. She is survived by her sons Trent Maxwell, Parker Maxwell, Jevin (Katie) Weyenberg, and Ryan Goulette; her grandchildren Ella & Everett Weyenberg; her mother Darlene Lukins; her siblings Connie (Ron) Kandell, David (Judy) Lukins and Renee (Dean) Callahan as well as 7 nieces & nephews and 9 great-nieces & nephews.

She was preceded in death by her husband Dan Maxwell in 2008, her father David Lukins, and her father-in-law & mother-in-law Harry & Marguerite Maxwell.

Visitation will be held on Sunday October 4, 2015 from 2:00 to 5:00 p.m. at Life Story Funeral Homes, Portage; 5975 Lovers Lane (269-344-5600). A funeral service will be held at 1:00 p.m. on Monday at Pathfinder Church; 8740 S. Westnedge, Portage. Visit Karen’s memory page at www.lifestorynet.com to leave a memory for her family and sign her guestbook. Those who wish may make a memorial donation in Karen's name to benefit her sons Trent and Parker. Donations can be made at any Fifth Third Bank branch with checks payable to Renee Callahan.