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Obituary: Willis, Karen Kay

Fri., May 3, 2013

WILLIS, Karen Kay (Age 67) On Tuesday, April 30, 2013, a beautiful soul departed the constraints of an injured body and joined her heavenly father.

Karen Kay Willis was a devoted wife, loving mother, avid golfer, bridge enthusiast, fantastic cook and a caring humanitarian.

She will be missed by everyone whose life she touched.

Born in Seattle, Washington to parents Julian Scheytt and Helen Wilson, Karen grew up in Missoula, graduated from the University of Montana and went on to a long, successful career in human resources, including a management position with U.S. Bank in Portland.

Before retiring in 2007, she was the H.R.

Director for Inland Empire Imaging.

Karen thrived on professionalism and was highly respected in her field.

In 1996, she met the love of her life, Dale Willis, on the golf course.

Their passion for the sport made them a perfect match, and they were married on June 7, 1997.

Karen was a true aficionado of the game, belonging to both the Highland and Avondale Golf Clubs.

It was their plan to travel and play courses around the country in their well-earned retirement.

Karen’s competitive streak also made her a fantastic bridge player, and she loved getting together with her friends to play cards.

In her spare time, she loved a good book.

She was a perfectionist who brought beauty and class to everything she did…from fantastic holiday dinners served from a flawlessly set table, to a comfortably decorated home that could have been featured in a magazine, to her impeccable fashion sense, to her garden, (which was admired by all, including the neighborhood moose!

), you always knew that if Karen did something, it would simply be gorgeous.

But it is her compassion and kind heart that we will miss the most.

She was a generous donor to Habitat for Humanity and the YWCA.

Karen would often make meals for sick friends, and it was on that sorrow-filled Thursday afternoon that she had brought food and kind words to one of those very ill friends.

While the day ended in sadness, it was brightened by Karen being Karen, and her doing something nice for others, as she often did.

She is survived by husband, Dale Willis; daughter and son-in-law, Ellana and Jake Strickbine, of Missoula, MT; brother and sister-in-law, Greg and Jerrilyn Scheytt, of Missoula, MT; half brother, Keith Scheytt of Oregon; and step-son-in-law and step-daughter-in-law Reggie and Shanette Gaines, of Portland, OR.

A memorial service to celebrate her life will be held 2:00 P.M. Thursday, May 9, 2013 at Christ the King Lutheran Church with YATES FUNERAL HOME, COEUR D’ALENE in care of the arrangements.

You may visit Karen’s memorial and sign her online guestbook at

We will miss her for all that we enjoyed together, as well as for all that we will miss out on, but she will be forever in our hearts.


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