Karen Ridgway Stephenson
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Karen Ridgway Stephenson was born August 23, 1939 in Owosso, MI to Donald and Jeanne Ridgway. The family moved around a lot during World War II, but Karen, the oldest of three siblings, spent most of her adolescence in Lombard, IL. She was an excellent student and French Horn player during her school years. She attended Culver-Stockton College in Canton, Mo. where she was editor of the school newspaper for two years. In that role, she introduced Ronald Reagan to a school assembly. She became Homecoming Queen during her junior year and was a member of the Alpha Xi Delta sorority. She participated in many extracurricular activities and consistently made the Dean's list. Karen met her husband, Thomas Stephenson, at Culver-Stockton College and they married on June 16, 1961. She taught High School for several years after graduation. In 1964 Karen and Tom moved to Seattle and they worked together in two family businesses: Stephenson Insurance Agency and Stephenson Ace Hardware in the Maple Leaf neighborhood. Karen continued her education at the University of Washington and received a Master's degree in early Renaissance European History. She became involved with a group of fellow graduate History students who met monthly, a ritual that continues to this day. Karen is survived by husband Tom, son Mark, daughter Kathy, son-in-law and grandson, Mike and Joe Kelley, her mother Jeanne, sister Kendall, and brother Donald and sister-in-law Pat Powers. We will always remember her as a woman of letters, who enjoyed symphonies and plays. She especially enjoyed attending the Ashland Shakespeare Festival with her sister Kendall, as well as spending time at Tom and Karen's getaway on Whidbey Island. Donations may be made to the hospice of your choice or to the
A memorial service for Karen will be held on Nov. 4th 2012 at 1:00 pm at the University Christian Church, 4731 15th NE.
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Published in The Seattle Times from October 24 to October 25, 2012