Karen M. Howard passed away unexpectedly on Tuesday, May 23, 2023, at the age of 78.
Karen’s lifelong passion was to be a teacher and a guide to students throughout the Kimberly area. Karen graduated from Appleton High School in 1963 and obtained a degree from the Outagamie County Teachers College in 1965 and her Bachelor of Science for Lower Elementary Education from the Wisconsin State University – Oshkosh in 1970. She began teaching shortly thereafter and spent the next 39 years teaching children from 4k through 2nd grade, including establishing the Talented and Gifted Program. After retiring in 2004, she continued to serve as a substitute teacher and aide within the Kimberly Area School District. The impact of her passion can be seen throughout Kimberly as she has taught multiple generations of families. It was common to hear parents tell their children that they had Miss Howard when they were young!
Karen was a wonderful woman who selflessly gave so much to others. At school, she nurtured young children and new teachers. Outside of school, she quietly helped those in need. She was quick to identify those who needed help and then took it upon herself to do something to better their situation. After retiring, Karen was a volunteer for Hospice, helping many families deal with the long-term illness of their loved one.
She loved spending time with family and friends. She travelled a bit when younger and enjoyed her trips to Hawaii, Lake Tahoe and England. She loved playing cards and was known, on occasion, to visit a casino to play the slots.
Karen was born on November 6, 1944 in Appleton, WI to Charles and Edna Howard whom proceeded her in death. She was also preceded in death by her sister and brother-in-law, Rosie and Pierce Giffey, brother Wayne Howard; and special friend Betty Bachelor.
She is survived by her nieces and nephews Chris and (Ginger) Howard (Cameron and Brennen), Carla Beeson (Braden Beeson, Madesyn and (Dustin) Kropinack (Charlee Duwe), Chad and (Kelly) Howard (Wylder and Hendrix), Michelle and (Samantha) Giffey (Briar) and Timothy Giffey. Karen is also survived by her sister-in-law, Barbara Howard.
Karen had a special relationship with Bennett Nelson whom she cared for since he was six months old. He was her quasi-grandson. He and his family will miss her dearly.
A service will be held on June 5th, 2023 at Christ the King Lutheran Church on 601 S. Washington St, Combined Locks. Visitation will be from 9:00 – 11:00 a.m., followed by a funeral service at 11:00 a.m.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to Westside Elementary School to provide support to teachers with supplies for their rooms.