4 entries
  • "I and my friend cleaned Karen's and Leo's house. They both..."
    - Carol Bowman
  • "Mrs. Defferding was an amazing woman who enjoyed life. Very..."
    - Lisa Vincent
  • "My thoughts and prayers are with the family. Mike Funk"
  • "Leslie, Mark and family, I was stunned to learn of Karen's..."
    - Phyllis Parker
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KAREN J. DEFFERDING Karen J. Defferding passed away on May 18th, 2016. She was born September 24th, 1941 in Towanda, Illinois. In 1947 the family moved to Pasco, Washington and then to Benton City. Karen graduated from Kiona-Benton High School, Salutatorian of her class in 1959. The year 1960 brought her to Fullerton, California where she went to work at Hughes Aircraft Company in one of their many art departments. During 1963 and 1964, she attended The Art Center school in Los Angeles. In 1966 she moved to Cedar Rapids, Iowa and worked as a job shopper at Collins Radio in their drafting department. It was there that she pursued her dream of getting her pilot's license. She passed her flight test in Hillsboro, Oregon in 1969 and was checked out in a 150 and 172 Cessna. She moved to Portland, Oregon in 1968 and worked for Ford Industries, Inc. During the time Karen lived in Portland, she became interested in sculpture and felt her day began after 5pm where she attended Portland Art Museum night classes in bronze casting. She worked on stone and wood carvings and even took a welding class, just to try it out. Karen moved back to the Tri-Cities in 1975. She met Leo Defferding in 1977 and they were married in Coeur d'Alene, Idaho in 1984. They had many fun trips to the Oregon coast with golf clubs in the trunk. There was a vacation trip to Cabos San Lucas with the thrill of landing a 154 lb. marlin and have the picture to prove it! Karen loved playing golf and was a member of the Tri-City Country Club. She had the honor of winning "Low Net in the Washington State Grandmothers Tournament in 2001. She also had 2 "Holes-in-One." With Leo's Battelle job transfer to New York city in 1991, Karen took a leave of absence from Hanford, moved to New York and enrolled in painting classes for a year at the Art Students League in Manhattan. Upon returning to the Tri-Cities with Leo's transfer home, she resumed work at the Hanford Site. Having retired in 1996, she assumed the role of caretaker for her 94 year old Grandmother Freda Smith. Granny passed on at age 96. Karen Jo developed an interest in fabric dying, taking many workshops. She also resumed her interest in oil painting. She is survived by her daughter, Leslie (Mark) Keffeler of Spokane, grandchildren, Justin, Jared and Jonae, Her brother Thomas Newman of Kauai, Hawaii. Her husband Leo, having passed August of 2011, is survived by children, Jeanne (Lajos) Barany, Bruce (Shawn) Defferding, Alice (John) Enslow and Leo Jr. (Shirley) Defferding and a total of 7 grandchildren. At her request, there will be no memorial service. In lieu of flowers please make donations to the Tri-City Chaplaincy Hospice House 2108 W. Entiat, Kennewick, Washington 99336 The family invites you to sign the online guest book at www.lifetributescenter.com
Funeral Home
Life Tributes Cremation Center
731 N. Columbia Center Blvd., Suite #126
Kennewick, WA 99336
(509) 736-3565
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Published in Tri-City Herald on May 22, 2016