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Karen Louise (Osborne) Strauss

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Karen Louise (Osborne) Strauss Obituary
"Now Playing in Heaven's Band"
Karen Louise (Osborne) Strauss, of Temecula, CA, passed away on August 22, 2017. Karen was born in Hagerstown, MD in 1962. As a child, she lived in Monrovia and Nimba, Liberia, Far Rockaway, NY, Dubai, UAE and Casablanca, Morocco. In 1971, Karen arrived in Walnut Creek, CA. She was active in Brownies and Girl Scouts. In the fourth grade, Karen fell in love with music. She started on drums and cello. She then moved to flute and piano. Karen enjoyed both music and French language in Jr. High and High School. During high school, she worked at the Sandpiper Hallmark Store and was a member of the Job's Daughters Masonic Group. She graduated from Northgate High School in 1981.
Karen was accepted to the University of the Pacific's Conservatory of Music in Stockton, CA. Her musical talents increased as she learned to play all band and orchestra instruments. Karen graduated in 1985 with a BA in Music Education. She began teaching elementary school music in Greenfield, CA. In 1987 Karen married David Strauss. Karen met David in high school band. Their first date was to Fentons Creamery in Oakland in 1978 and they had been together ever since. After honeymooning in Victoria, B.C., the newlyweds moved to Rancho, California in 1987 because it was between her new schools in the San Marcos Unified School District and his job in Corona.
For the last 29 years, Karen taught fifth grade beginning band in the Murrieta Valley Unified School District. As a teacher, Karen was known for her smile, her patience, her positive attitude and her delight in her students' success as musicians and scholars. She worked tirelessly to be sure every student practiced, got band shirts and that the chairs would arrive at the district honor band concerts on time. She rewarded her classes every year by organizing a concert at Mulligan's Fun Center. After school, she gave private piano lessons from home. Some of her students have become music teachers themselves. Karen was very proud of her legacy of giving the gift of music to nearly three thousand students in her lifetime.
Karen played flute and piccolo in the community concert bands of Palomar Jr. College, Mt. San Jacinto Jr. College and the Temecula Valley Winds. She was also a member of the Silver Sounds Flute Ensemble and Orange County Flute Ensemble. As a student of the K8trills Music School, Karen gave classical flute and piccolo recitals. Her favorite venues to perform at were the Wine Country Band Festival and Disneyland. Karen could sing and dance too. She was in "Annie Get Your Gun" as Cowgirl #2. She also sang with the Sweet Adelines in Temecula. Karen was devoted to her childrens' interests and gave time to band practices, singing and instrument lessons, Girl Scouts, and Boy Scouts. Her "Yeah!" for each girl and boy who achieved an award was enjoyed by all. Karen's artistic talents also included tole painting, stained glass windows and decorating her home with Eiffel Towers. Karen loved to travel. Maui, Sedona and Palm Springs were favorites. She also enjoyed trips to Graceland in Memphis and the Eiffel Tower in Paris. In the last three years, Karen took up weekend residence in Cathedral City, CA where she embraced the desert resort lifestyle. She became a "foodie" reporting on Facebook about her dining experiences in Palm Springs. She loved the creative energy of art shows, musicals and concerts including David Cassidy, Wayne Newton, Al Jarreau, Bob Newhart and Herb Alpert.
The driving force in Karen's life was to heal quickly from life-threatening illnesses to return to her family and students. She was able to have a fulfilling life thanks to the concerted efforts of the doctors, nurses, technicians, therapists, office staff and volunteers of Rancho Family Medical Group, Southwest Cancer Care Medical Group, Hematology Oncology Consultants, Keck Hospital of USC, USC Norris Cancer Center, Loma Linda University Medical Center, Life Care Center of Menifee, Temecula Valley Imaging, Synergy CT Surgery, San Antonio Regional Hospital, Fallbrook Hospital, Temecula Valley Hospital, LabCorp, Quest and a well-worn path to the CVS (Longs) Pharmacy. She was grateful for the support of her family and friends whom she relied on during recovery.
Karen is survived by her parents Lawrence Thomas and Phyllis Mae (Grimm) Osborne of Murrieta; her brother John Robert Osborne and family of San Jose, CA; husband David and children Rachel and Charlie of Temecula. A public memorial is planned for Karen at the England Family Mortuary in Temecula on Sunday, Sept 3 at 2pm. Details are available at www.facebook.com/events/112336819437439/?ti=as Karen will be interred at the Temecula Public Cemetery.
Published in Press-Enterprise on Aug. 27, 2017
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