February 24, 1940 – October 28, 2017 Karen Jane Tilley, 77, of Gordonville, Texas passed away peacefully on October 28th, 2017, after a courageous 5-year battle with Alzheimer’s.
Karen was born in Maple, Wisconsin on February 24th, 1940, to Elvi and Onnie Hietala and was the youngest of 3 children. Karen graduated from Central High School in Superior Wisconsin. Karen and her family moved to Florida when she was a young adult and she pursued a career as a Certified X-Ray Technician and worked in medical offices in Florida in the 1950s and 60s.
Karen met Van Tilley of Denton, Texas in Florida. They had met previously at a party in Minneapolis but met a second time in Florida. It was destiny—true love—what were the odds! They were married on February 23, 1963 in South Carolina. Van was in the Army and had three days of leave. They drove from Florida to South Carolina to get married because unlike Florida, South Carolina had no blood test requirement for a marriage license. No blood test requirement meant that they could be married immediately and make the most of the three-day leave and have their wedding and honeymoon too. They married, were blessed with two sons and eventually made Fort Worth, Texas their home. After they both retired from their careers, Karen and Van had their retirement home built in Gordonville, where they have lived together since 1995.
Karen was a loving wife, mother and grandmother. She loved music, playing the accordion, gardening and getting together with family and friends.
Karen is survived by her husband of 54 years, Van of Gordonville; two sons, Jaret (Katie) of Fort Worth; Glenn of Sherman; grandsons Eric (Tuscaloosa) and Rolf (Phoenix); her brother Glenn, of Little Falls, Minnesota, and many nieces and nephews. She was preceded in death by her parents, grandparents and brother Gerald.
Graveside services will be held on Wednesday, November 1st at 10:00am at the Pavilion at Oakwood Cemetery at 1394 West Main St. in Whitesboro with Rev. Doyle Henderson officiating. Services are under the direction of Meador Funeral Home of Whitesboro. Visitation will be held for family and friends at the Pavilion from 9:00am to 10:00am, immediately before the Graveside service.