Karen Lynne Vierk, 67, of Marco Island, Florida and West Lafayette, died at 9:20 a.m., Saturday, May 17, 2014 at University Place of West Lafayette. Karen battled Metastatic Breast Cancer for over three years, spending most of one year at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota. Her treatments were continued at IU Simon Cancer Center in Indianapolis.
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She was born on Feb. 15, 1947 in Flora, Indiana to the late Donald J. and Kathryn J. Landis Garrison. She was a member of the first graduating class from Carroll County High School in 1965. Karen became a registered nurse, graduating from Purdue University's School of Nursing in the third graduating class.
Her first marriage was to Charles Ray Carter on Jan. 13, 1968 in Monticello. He preceded her in death in October 1991. Karen married Dan A. Vierk in June of 1995 in Rensselaer and he survives.
Karen had lived in Flora, Rensselaer, West Lafayette, and was a resident of Marco Island, Florida. She was a life member of Purdue University's President's Council and had been a member of the First Presbyterian Church of Rensselaer.
Karen was a nurse, wife, mother, grandmother to eleven, the CEO of Carter Oil Supply, Inc. of Rensselaer, as well as a selfless philanthropist. Her many beneficiaries were greatly enhanced by her generosity.
She enjoyed sitting on her Marco Island pool deck, watching the dolphins swim in the Gulf of Mexico, the gulls in the blue skies, birds at her feeders, her children, grandchildren, and her many friends. Her greatest love was doing for and helping others!
Surviving with her husband are her children, Cristin Renee Gauthier (husband: Matthew), Blake Garrison Carter (wife: Cynthia), Gretchen Sue LaShell (husband: Burke), Steven Alan Vierk, and Jeffrey A. Vierk; two brothers, Teddy L. Garrison (wife: Jacqueline) and Jerry L. Garrison (wife: Sonia); and a sister-in-law, Carolyn Kay Howell.
She is also survived by her 11 grandchildren, Edey Lynne Gauthier, Charley Elizabeth Gauthier, Garrison Ray Carter, Drake Alan LaShell, Lauren Marie LaShell, Charles Jeffery LaShell, Alexandra Kay LaShell, Audrey Anne Vierk, Kathlyn Jean Vierk, Samantha Renee Vierk, and Tessa Grace Vierk; her nieces and nephews, Stephanie Ann Stephan (husband: Trent), Kandace Lyn Eller (husband: Greg), Shelby Kay Crum (husband: Tim), Tony Joseph Garrison, Traci Michelle Downing (husband: Trent), Tanner Joseph Garrison (wife: Aimee), Bradley Harman Lushbaugh, and Leigh Alison Hatfield (husband: Marc); and many grand-nieces and nephews and extended family, too numerous to mention, but not forgotten.
Friends may call from 3-8 p.m., Wednesday, May 21, at Hartzler-Clapper Funeral Home of Brookston. Karen's Funeral Service will be there at 10 a.m., Thursday, May 22, with Rev. Ann Smith Williams officiating. Inurnment to follow at Memory Gardens of Rensselaer Cemetery.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made in Karen's honor to the IU Foundation/Breast Cancer Research with Karen's name on the memo line and mailed to: IU School of Medicine, c/o IU Foundation; PO Box 7072; Indianapolis, IN 46207-0702.
Share memories and condolences online at www.clapperfuneralservices.com
Hartzler-Clapper Funeral Home
101 W 4th St
Brookston, IN 47923
Published in the Rensselaer Republican from May 20 to May 21, 2014