WEST BELVIDERE - Karan J. "Ma" Peasley, born on Aug. 2, 1953, to Todd H. and Carol Gates Peasley in Spokane, Wash., died Monday (Sept. 17, 2012) shortly after arrival at Jones Memorial Hospital.
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She spent her childhood years living and working at the family business in Hinsdale until moving to Olean. She graduated from Olean High School in 1971 and continued her formal education at Alfred State College, graduating in 1974 from the Medical Records program.
Her career in medical records began as a transcriptionist at St. James in Hornell and Jones Memorial in Wellsville. She went west and spent a year exploring southern Arizona in the 1970s before settling down to become a wife and mother. She married Phillip Robins in 1975, who predeceased her in 1991, and they were blessed with two children, Kristofer in 1979 and Kara in 1981.
Karan worked for the Rochester Psychiatric Center in the late 1970s and '80s and was instrumental in the formation of the first on-site day care center in Monroe County. She relocated to Flagstaff, Az., for a period of time in the late 1980s, furthering her career by becoming Director of Medical Records at the Flagstaff Medical Center.
The challenges of being a single mother never hampered her upbeat personality and sense of right and wrong. She moved her small brood back to New York in 1991, where she reconnected with her family and realized her professional dream by becoming the Director of Medical Records at Jones Memorial Hospital, Wellsville, until her retirement in 2004.
Karan had a quirky sense of humor and used it in her struggles through this life on Earth. She was very dedicated to her large circle of friends that she accumulated over the years. She was a life member of the Belmont Volunteer Fire Department Auxiliary and volunteered much of her time advocating for the Southwestern Association of Volunteer Firemen.
Karan was passionate about antiques. She loved auctions and yard sales and relished the idea of getting a "good deal." She also loved following politics. She described herself as a very opinionated citizen and always said, "you can't complain if you don't vote."
She held so much wisdom and was a mentor to the youth of the area. She "adopted" many kids, and her home was always open to anyone in need.
She is survived by her husband, Lane Baggett; a daughter, Kara Janice Robins of Rochester; two sisters, Lori A. Crawford of Jonestown, Pa., and Sharon K. Bennett of Hinsdale; a brother, Dennis Peasley of Olean; several nieces; one nephew; and a multitude of friends and extended family. She will also be missed by "the guys," referring to her many female friends.
She was predeceased by her son, Kristofer Robins, in 2000, and parents Todd H. in 1988 and Carol in 1995.
Friends and family are invited to a memorial service and celebration of Karan's life on Saturday (Sept. 22, 2012) at 2 p.m. in the side yard of her home, 5968 County Route 20 W., West Belvidere.
In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to the Belmont Volunteer Fire Department or the Amity Rescue Squad. To leave online condolences, please visit www.embserfuneralhome.com.
Published in The Olean Times Herald on Sept. 20, 2012