Karen Rae (Lunsford) White was born September 24, 1946, in Marshalltown, Iowa. She was the second daughter born to Virgil L. and Elsie J. (Adams) Lunsford. Two years after her birth, in 1948, her parents moved to Unionville, Missouri, where she grew up.
During the polio epidemic in the summer of 1951, Karen, at age 5, contracted the disease and was hospitalized in Kirksville. Although she recovered, this illness continued to affect her for many years.
Karen attended church from an early age with her mother and became a Christian when she was eleven years old. She began playing the piano at age twelve and eventually became the church organist. She was active in Rainbow for girls and 4H during her teenage years. She often sang at social events and earned money by singing for funerals.
After graduating from Putnam County High School in 1964, she moved to Kansas City where she worked for Parmelee Industries in their billing department. After working two years, she became a student at Ozark Bible College in Joplin, MO. from 1966 to 1968. While a student, she sang in the college choir which traveled throughout the Midwest performing at different churches.
In 1968, Karen returned to Kansas City, where she met her future husband at church. Karen and Joe were married in Kansas City, Kansas on September 12, 1970 and lived in Kansas City, Missouri following the wedding. Karen and Joe had three children, two daughters and a son: Daphne was born in 1973; Timothy in 1976; and Denise in 1977.
In 1981, Karen and Joe moved their family to Ottumwa, Iowa, where they lived for two years. The family then moved to Saint Charles in 1983, where Karen and Joe continued to live for the past 34 years. Karen worked at Blackhurst Elementary School in Saint Charles for 16 years, attaining the position of head cook before retiring in 2001.
On October 21, 2014 Karen was diagnosed as having non-classical Parkinson’s disease. Because of her rapidly deteriorating condition, she was re-diagnosed on July 7, 2017, as having Parkinson’s disease + multiple systems atrophy (MSA).
On January 25, 2018, at the age of 71, Karen passed from this life to the glories of her eternal home and into the presence of her Savior, Jesus Christ.
Karen is survived by her mother, Elsie Lunsford; her husband Joe White; and her three children Daphne Boyce (Mark) of Saint Charles, Timothy White of San Antonio, Texas, and Denise White of Saint Charles. She is also survived by eight grandchildren: Zachary, Matthew, Daniel, Josiah, Gideon, Isaac, Tabitha, and Lydia Boyce. She is also survived by one niece, Sherri Moye of Greenville, South Carolina. She was preceded in death by her father, Virgil Lunsford and her sister, Marilyn Thomas.
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