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Karen Wyatt Ramsey

1960 - 2018 Obituary Condolences
Karen Wyatt Ramsey Obituary
Karen Wyatt Ramsey

Charlottesville, VA - Karen (née Wyatt) Ramsey died peacefully at her home in Charlottesville, Virginia, on Monday, April 30, following a courageous battle with Von Hippel-Lindau (VHL) Syndrome. At the time of her passing, Karen was surrounded by loved ones. She was 57.

Karen was born in Washington, D.C. in 1960 to Michael A and Audrey (née Stern) Wyatt. She majored in Economics at The College of William & Mary, completing a bachelor's Degree in 1982. She went on to earn a master's Degree in Communications from Virginia Commonwealth University in 1986. Karen remained very active in the William & Mary Association, serving as President of the Arizona Chapter.

Karen married Rickey Dale "Rick" Ramsey (a native of Rocky Mount, VA) in 1982 in Williamsburg, VA. They moved to Richmond where they lived for the first eight years of their married life. In 1989 they moved to Roanoke, VA. In 1996, they moved to Scottsdale, Arizona and for the next twenty years they raised their two children Lauren and Dillon while pursuing active careers. Karen spent over two decades in corporate management, specializing in communications and human resources. She began her career at Virginia Power (now Dominion Resources) and for the remainder of her career served as a Vice President of Human Resources for fortune 500 companies. She was also an author, publishing the books HIPPA Complete and Lead for Good. Karen was especially proud that her sister, Leslie, served as the editor for her final publication.

Throughout her life, Karen was very active in causes related to youth and in her support of non-profit organizations. She served as Board Chair of the West End Center in Roanoke, an after-school center for at-risk children. Karen served on the Virginia Employment Commission in Roanoke and helped enact a seat belt law in Richmond. She won an ADDY Award for her work with the State of Virginia and was made a Paul Harris Fellow by Rotary International in Roanoke. She served on the Board of Directors of the Arizona Association of Fundraising Professionals in Phoenix.

In 2005, Karen founded Lead for Good, a leadership organization dedicated to supporting staff working in nonprofit social sectors. Through her work with Lead for Good she consulted with over 150 non-profit organizations worldwide. The Ramseys mentored multiple youth as part of the Lost Boys of Sudan program. She founded Pinnacle POSSE, a choir-parent fundraising and booster club organization at Pinnacle High School in Scottsdale.

In 2011, Karen was diagnosed with a rare, cancer-related disease called Von Hippel-Lindau (VHL) Syndrome. While undergoing years of surgeries and treatment, Karen became an advocate to improve services for VHL patients at the Mayo Hospital in Scottsdale, AZ, joined the board of directors for the VHL Alliance and held fund-raising events for VHL research. Karen remained an active member of the VHL Alliance's board of directors until her death.

Karen is sorely missed by her husband of 36 years, Rick Ramsey of Charlottesville, VA; her daughter, Lauren Josef (Jake) of Chester, NH, and son Dillon of Charlottesville, VA. Karen is also survived by her parents Michael and Audrey Wyatt of Arlington, Virginia, a sister, Leslie Moore (Kevin) of Annandale, VA, and nephew Wyatt of San Francisco and niece Monica of Annandale, VA and her brother, Keith of Maryland. Besides these family members, Karen leaves behind numerous uncles, cousins, In-Laws and nieces and nephews.

A "Celebration of Life" honoring Karen's memory will be held for family and friends on Monday, May 28, 2018, beginning at 11:00 am at James Monroe's Highland Home in Charlottesville, Virginia. Following a short program featuring speakers and music, a luncheon will be served.

In lieu of flowers, the family would be grateful for memorials to be made in Karen's name to The VHL Alliance (
Published in The Arizona Republic on May 13, 2018
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