Karen Sue Marcum
August 21, 1961 - February 16, 2014
Resident of Capitola
A celebration for the life of Karen Marcum is planned for March 8th in Santa Cruz. Karen passed away on February 16, 2014 at the Capitola home she shared with Fiance Olaf Geffken. Born in San Diego County she was age 13 when she moved to Santa Cruz and became a beloved member of the Stoltenkamp Moro family.
Karen was a dedicated and industrious worker, with her first job at her Aunt Alta's and Uncle Emo's fish and chip's restaurant on Mission Street. She also worked as a fill-in Hostess at Tiny's restaurant in Capitola were she was affectionally known as "Boom Boom" by the regular customers.
Karen was a familiar face in the Santa Cruz Banking Community, with her career spanning over 36 years. At the age of 16, and still attending Harbor High School, she started her career with County Bank of Santa Cruz filing checks at the Watsonville Branch. Her first promotion was opening new accounts at the Eastside Branch on Soquel Avenue. In 1987 she started her long association with Bank of The West working at the downtown Santa Cruz branch as a Financial Services Representative. In 1991 she was promoted to Financial Service Officer and in 1995 she was promoted to branch Sales Manager.
In 2005, Karen joined a new banking team at Santa Cruz County Bank as Vice President Relationship Manager. Although the bank was new many of her fellow employees had known or worked with her before. In 2007 with a group of amazing employees she opened the Capitola office known as "Karen's Branch". In 2013 her title changed to Vice President Regional Relationship Manager.
Karen loved her work and brought with her a joyfulness which attracted employees and customers alike.
Karen served as chairperson for numerous charity golf tournaments ranging from the March of Dimes, to needs for the homeless community.
Well know to Santa Cruz merchants, Karen possessed the unique ability to convince merchants to donate goods or services for her popular golf tournaments, sometimes refusing to leave a store without a donation. Her enthusiastic spirit and compassionate nature got all of her friends to open their wallets. In 2001, her first golf tournament was an instant success and raised over $20,000.
Karen was very active in the community, she was a member of Kiwanis – Capitola and the Santa Cruz Chamber of Commerce as well as the Santa Cruz Downtown Association.
In her 20's and 30's Karen played in co-ed soccer and softball leagues. Watching some big guy fall to his knees after colliding with her was always the highlight of every soccer game. She loved to play golf and when her health was good she was a fixture at DeLavega Golf course, always walking the course never riding in the cart. She had a sweet swing and could smack that little white ball down the fairway for yards and yards.
She will be remembered for her love of life and people, always looking to see the good in others and never judging. Her life was a gift to many, and she was especially an inspiration to those that personally walked with her in this life journey. Once you met Karen you had an instant connection and became a friend forever. As family members, we quickly learned that any excursion with her would take longer than expected. As an accomplished sales person she seemed to personally know everyone in the community and could not resist working a room for potential customers. We will miss her warmth, contagious smile and humor which brighten all of our lives. In case Karen forgot to tell you, she danced with Tom Cruise at a New Years Eve party at Pebble Beach.
Karen is preceded in death by her grandparents, Louie and Enes Moro. She leaves behind the love of her life Fiance Olaf Geffken of Capitola, her mother and father Sandi Jo and Dave Stoltenkamp; her sister Stacie and brother in law Jeff Wenger, and her brother Scott, and sister in law Sarah Stoltenkamp. Nephews Ian, Dylan and Xander. Brother in law Sven Geffken and his children Michael and Kristen. Aunt and Uncle Donna and John Comelli and their children Denise Reid and Crissy Roubal; and numerous loving cousins and extended family.
As most of you know the last two years of Karen's life were sadly filled with pain due to severe nerve damage after leg surgery. Her babies, cats Peaches and Kimba, comforted her and never left her side as she convalesced. Karen's family wishes to acknowledge the personal and loving care that was provided to her from Dr. Bernard Hilberman, who was Karen's physician all of her life.
Throughout her ordeal Olaf never waivered in his love and support.
A Hawaiian themed farewell is planned for our beloved Karen. Please wear your favorite "tropical beach attire" and join her family and friends at the Santa Cruz Elks Lodge on March 8th. 2014 at 3:00 p.m. A private family ceremony and committal will take place prior to the ceremony in March. You may light a candle for Karen and share your reflections and payer with her family at www.pacificgardenschapel.com Any kind acts of charity can be made in Karen's memory to The Bay School, Educating Children with Autism, 1026 Capitola Road, Capitola, California 95062, on behalf of Karen's nephew Dylan Wenger.
Published in Santa Cruz Sentinel on Feb. 23, 2014