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Norfolk, VA 23517
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Karla Stanek Lawler

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Karla Stanek Lawler Obituary
Karla Stanek Lawler
Norfolk - On March 9, 2103 Karla Stanek Lawler passed in Norfolk after a month of declining health. She was born Karla Stanek in Milwaukee, Wis. to Edward and Carrie Hamata Stanek. She graduated from the University of Wisconsin with a degree in physical therapy. In March 1943 Karla was inducted into the U.S. Army (as an officer and a gentleman, as she told it) and served over three years as a physical therapist in overseas campaigns including North Africa and Italy. She was discharged with the rank of Captain in 1946, and received a bronze star and four overseas service bars. In 1948 Karla married R. Palmer Lawler, native of Norfolk, Va. They briefly lived in Oakland, California before moving to Norfolk in 1949. Palmer worked as an accountant at Batchelder and Collins, a building supply company, and Karla was a housewife.
Palmer passed in August 1981 and Karla lived in their home alone until June of 2010 when she moved into an assisted living facility. During that period she filled every closet and drawer with things that she loved. She was president of the Tidewater Council, Girl Scouts of America, in the late 70s and early 80s, and was called the 'Nature Lady' for the work she did at the various camps. In addition she served as Secretary to the Camellia Shores Civic League and helped maintain and guide the neighborhood she lived in and loved for over 50 years. She was also active in Town and Gown activities and always supported a positive dialogue between the City of Norfolk, Old Dominion University and the local military. Karla loved to square dance, as evidenced by the many dresses and crinolines she had, and was an avid crafter, working in just about every medium from cloth to clay to paint. She also enjoyed the outdoors including surf fishing on the Outer Banks of North Carolina, and birding. She loved to travel and her itineraries included Australia, the Antarctic, Costa Rica and Alaska. She was a charter member of Calvin Presbyterian Church.
Karla was predeceased by her parents, her husband, and two brothers, Jerry Stanek and Tom Stanek. Karla is survived by her brother, Edward Stanek of Milwaukee, Wisconsin, daughter, Caroline Lawler of Kent, Ohio, son, Robert Lawler and his wife Karen Lawler of Gibsonville, North Carolina, four grandchildren and three great-grandchildren.
A memorial service will be held at 11 a.m. on Monday, April 15, 2013 at Calvin Presbyterian Church. In lieu of flowers, please make memorial donations in Karla's name to the Girl Scouts of the Colonial Coast or the Norfolk Botanical Gardens. H. D. Oliver Funeral Apts., Norfolk Chapel is assisting the family. Online condolences may be offered to the family through hdoliver.com


Published in The Virginian Pilot on Apr. 11, 2013
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