Karen Holmes

Karen Lee Holmes (Katz)

Tuesday, June 6th, 1944 - Monday, August 10th, 2020
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Karen L. Holmes of Tampa, Florida, age 76, suffered a brain aneurysm on Tuesday, August 4th, and passed away on August 10, 2020. She was born to Peretz and Sylvia (Pinchevsky) Katz on June 6, 1944, in Chicago, IL.
Karen was a 1962 graduate of Everett High School in Lansing, MI and received a Bachelor’s Degree in Elementary Education in 1965 from Michigan State. Karen earned her Master’s Degree in Education – Reading Specialist from California State University – San Bernardino in 1981.
While at Michigan State, Karen met the love of her life, Melvin Holmes, whom she married in 1965. Karen, Melvin and their two children were stationed in various areas around the world however home for Karen was always her summer’s spent with family and friends at the Mt. Pleasant Subdivision in South Haven, MI. Karen spent almost every summer since she was born in South Haven in the same Cottage that her family built.
Karen and Mel started their family with the birth of their son, Mark, in 1968 while they were in Okinawa, Japan. Their daughter, Laurie, was born two years later in Denver, Colorado. Karen and her family lived in Myrtle Beach, SC; Ramstein, Germany; San Bernardino, CA; and Hawaii Kai, HI until Mel retired from the Air Force in 1986 to Tampa, FL.
Once they retired in Tampa, Karen began her teaching career at Berkley Preparatory School as an Elementary school teacher. She taught at the school for 18 years.
Karen’s family grew in 1995 when her daughter was married and a year later when her son was married. Her first of six grandchildren was born in 1996. She had two grandsons and four granddaughters who she loved very dearly and kept her young after her retirement from teaching.
Karen loved her family, friends and helping others. She enjoyed playing Mah Jong, attending Book Club, and going on Cruises. She was an avid Days of Our Lives fan.
Karen always enjoyed teaching as she started at a young age with her self-made camps in South Haven with her sisters and friends. She maintained teaching and learning through her life which she continued in her retirement at the Mt. Pleasant Rec Hall. She spent countless hours at the Rec Hall putting activities together, spending time with the kids that stopped by, and being a welcoming presence for the subdivision members.
She was not only an incredible Mother, but she was an amazing wife, a caring grandmother, a loving friend and a joyous presence in her communities. She was always smiling and truly knew how to make everyone around her feel at home. Even in her death, she continued her giving to others as a Gift of Life organ donor.
Karen is survived by her beloved husband of fifty-five years Melvin R. Holmes; her sisters, Susan Rizman and Debbie Miller; children Mark (Rachel) Holmes of Maryland and Laurie (Bill) Phillips of Illinois; grandchildren Billy, Erin and Emily Phillips and Tommy, Elisabeth and Isabella Holmes. Along with numerous nieces, nephews and cousins.
She was treated and cared for at Spectrum Health Butterworth Hospital in Grand Rapids, MI and we are very thankful to the healthcare workers that ensured she was as comfortable as possible during her time there.
Due to the current situation there will understandably not be a funeral service.
A fund has been set up in memory of Karen for her beloved Recreation Hall at Mt. Pleasant in South Haven, MI. In lieu of flowers, contributions in Karen’s memory can be made payable to Pleasant Community Circle, noting in the memo line Karen Holmes Recreation Hall Fund and mailed to the attention of Danielle Kallison, 26702 N. Trail Court, Mettawa, IL 60045.
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