LORAIN – Karen L. (Friedley) Tabak, 70, of Lorain died early Tuesday morning, December 6, 2011, in the New Life Hospice Center of St. Joseph, Lorain, following a 4 ½ year battle with ovarian cancer.
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Born November 7, 1941, Karen was a 1959 Sandusky High School graduate who went on to achieve a Bachelors of Education at Heidelberg College where she proudly toured Europe as a member of the college choir. After starting her family, Karen continued to pursue her interests in teaching and education by receiving her Masters of Education from Baldwin-Wallace College.
Mrs. Tabak was employed by the Lorain City School District for 25 years as a Kindergarten teacher, Reading Recovery teacher, and a Reading Supervisor for the district's reading programs. Karen's passion for teaching children to read eventually extended beyond the classroom and into the boardroom. Karen was co-founder of Kaeden Books and is a nationally known children's book author. Throughout her career, Karen's stories (most notably "Sammy, the Dog") have touched the lives of more than two million students across the country.
Karen most directly touched the lives of her three daughters. A loving and dedicated mother, Karen taught by example and always provided encouragement and support under any circumstances. A woman of determination, strong will, and commitment, she served as a role model to her daughters, as well as many other women whose lives she touched.
Karen loved traveling with her husband on cruises and to tropical resorts, volunteering as a Girl Scout troop leader, and sewing everything from draperies to dance recital costumes. Even in the midst of her illness, Karen designed and skillfully crafted her daughter's wedding veil, hand-stitching more than 400 beads and sequins. She was a member of First Evangelical Lutheran Church, Lorain.
Mrs. Tabak is survived by her husband: Wm. Russell Tabak, three daughters: Becky Evans of Elyria, Jenny Evans of North Ridgeville, Brandy Evans (Scott) Sylkatis of Lorain, stepson: Jeff Tabak of Chicago, three step grandchildren: Sarah, Angela and Jaden Tabak, her mother: Kathryn Pfeil Friedley of Sandusky, and one sister: Mary Ann Luse of Tiffin.
She was preceded in death by her father: Dale Pfunder Friedley in 1962, one aunt and one uncle.
Memorial Services will be held at 7:00 PM Monday, December 12, 2011, in the First Evangelical Lutheran Church, 603 Washington Avenue, Lorain, Ohio 44052. Pastor Jimmy Madsen will officiate. Inurnment will take place in the Castalia Cemetery, Castalia, Ohio at 11:30 AM Monday, December 12, 2011.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the Karen L. Tabak Endowment Fund c/o First Evangelical Lutheran Church.
Pfeil Funeral Home, Sandusky Chapel, 617 Columbus Avenue, Sandusky is in charge of the arrangements. Condolences may be shared with the family at pfeilfuneralhome.com.
Published in The Morning Journal on Dec. 8, 2011