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Karen Sue Kennedy
February 26, 1945 ~ September 16, 2023 (age 78) 78 Years Old
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Karen Sue Kennedy February 26, 1945 – September 16, 2023
Karen passed away peacefully in a room full of her family at Littleton Hospital on September 16, 2023. She had a four year battle with ovarian cancer, but her life was taken by what the Doctors believe to be West Nile Virus. She was born to John “Jack” Bachman and Barbara K. Barton on February 26, 1945 in Kittery, Maine. From there, her family moved to Michigan City and then she attended high school in the small town of Warsaw, Indiana. This is when her step-father Frank Detwiler and step-sisters came into her life. She attended nursing school in Chicago. Nursing became part of her identity. She started out in pediatrics and then worked in an ophthalmology clinic and then as a case manager for many years, her most recent job at Porter Hospital. After nursing school, she served with an overseas medical team in Algeria for two years. After returning from Africa, she lived in California and then Colorado when she moved in with her Aunt and Uncle Donna and John Youtman, whom she had a special relationship with and they always celebrated holidays together. In Colorado, she met her husband Jacob “Jay” James Diehl at a bar in Evergreen. They enjoyed a life full of camping, tennis and skiing.
Her greatest joy was her family. She is survived by her daughters Kelly Jane Diehl (now Kelly Glenn) and Laura Anne Diehl (now Laura Downie-Beard). Karen threw herself into the mother role, organizing the best birthday parties in the neighborhood and never missing a PTA meeting. She doted on her four grandchildren Jacob Raymond Tarr, Emily Grace Tarr, Viola Cosette Downie, and Julian Dash Downie. She also has a great grandchild Ellie Grace Haas. She is also survived by her sister, step-sister and numerous nieces and nephews whom she loved deeply. She passed on her deep love of the Lord and our savior, Jesus Christ, to many members of her family.
Throughout her life, she served others. Some of her highlights include Habitat for Humanity, Royal Family Kids Camp (a camp for foster children), the food pantry at Waterstone Community Church and the Colorado Ovarian Cancer Alliance. Her favorite activities included hiking, biking and knitting with her knit gang. She was always up for a ride on the bike path or a quick hike in Deer Creek canyon. She absolutely loved the ocean and could be entertained on the beach for hours. Sunday was her favorite day of the week, she enjoyed attending church at Waterstone Community Church. She was an avid reader and loved everything about her Irish heritage, especially the music and dancing. Her favorite holiday was Fourth of July and she was very proud of the veterans in our family, her dad served in World War II and her brother served in the Vietnam war.
We find comfort in knowing that she had a personal relationship with our Heavenly Father and a fierce love for our savior. We also find comfort in knowing that her wishes were carried out according to her living will and that she is no longer having any pain or discomfort from her cancer treatments.
Her family is holding a celebration of life September 20 at 2:00 PM at Waterstone Community Church. All are invited to Laura’s house afterwards for a reception. All who wish to attend are welcome. We encourage you to wear bright colors as we honor and celebrate a life well-lived! (if attending Waterstone Community Church – please park in the east lot).