Karen Kelleher Moore, 68, died on May 22, 2021 in her home, surrounded by family after a long battle against breast cancer. She was born in Evanston, IL and raised in Wilmette, IL, the youngest of 5 children of Dr. Edward Kelleher, a forensic psychiatrist, and his wife Dorothy (McCabe), an educator. She attended Northwestern University, graduating in 1973 with a BA in biology. It was there that she met her future husband, Chris Moore. They were married in 1974.
Karen taught high school biology in the Glenbard school system but then followed her passion for writing and her training in food sciences to become the associate editor for Food Product Development, a trade magazine. She worked until the birth of her first child in 1982.
Karen and Chris have 2 sons, Ryan Christopher, born in 1982 and Grant William, born in 1984.
Karen moved with her family to Rockford, IL in 1984 where she lived for the rest of her life.
Karen was a dedicated volunteer. She taught English as a second language for the Rockford Literacy Council for many years. She was a Stephen's minister for her church, Westminster Presbyterian; working as a lay caregiver providing Christ-centered care for those navigating a difficult time. Karen's original cancer diagnosis was in 1991. Based on her experiences in dealing with cancer she co-founded Healing Pathways Cancer Resource Center of Rockford in 2010. She was instrumental in its design, which provided a non-clinical setting for individuals touched by cancer so that they could receive guidance and support. The center focuses on a holistic and complementary approach, grounded in medical science. Karen envisioned a place where guests felt welcome and supported before, during, and after medical/surgical treatment of their cancer. Healing Pathways also welcomes family and friends. Karen's caring and friendly manner made the center a success in improving the quality of life for many cancer patients. In recognition of her effort, she was awarded the Winnebago County Medical Society Humanitarian award in 2011, "for her outstanding contributions and service to the community of northern Illinois."
Karen was a talented musician. She enjoyed playing flute in the Rockford Old Towne Band, which focused on Dixieland, ragtime, and marches. She sang soprano in the church "Praise" choir. She loved helping her children and grandchildren in their musical pursuits.
Karen's priority was always on family, and she was very proud of the academic and career success of her children, Ryan in biomedical engineering and Grant in finance. She reached back to her teaching skills for the many projects she created for her grandchildren, such as her unique geography lessons. She especially enjoyed her special, themed tea parties with her granddaughters and cheering her grandsons at their sporting events.
Karen is survived by her husband of 46 years, Dr. Chris Moore; her 2 sons and their wives, Ryan (Christina Wiedow) Moore and Grant (Erin Schram) Moore; 4 grandchildren, Emma, Landon, Claire, and Hudson; her 4 siblings and their spouses, Ed (Bacia), Jane (Bob) Alfe, Lin (Steve) Castle, Sue (Stan) McCracken; and numerous nephews and a niece. She is predeceased by her parents; and father-in-law, Rex Moore.
A Memorial Service will be held at 1:00 p.m. on Friday, June 11, 2021 at Westminster Presbyterian Church, 2821 N. Bell School Rd. with Reverend Michael Hafele officiating. A visitation will be from 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. prior to the service in the church. Inurnment will follow at Sunset Memorial Gardens, 8800 N. Alpine Rd, Machesney Park, IL.
The family prefers that memorial gifts be made in the name of Karen Moore to Mayo Clinic, designated for breast cancer research; or Healing Pathways Cancer Resource Center of Rockford. (Please do not write checks to Westminster as the church cannot forward them). To share a memory or condolence, visit olsonfh.com
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Published by PL-North on Jun. 10, 2021.