Karen Roy Murray was one of eight children, growing up in and around Fremont, Ohio.
Karen met the love of her life, Craig Murray, while teaching an aerobics class; he was in the police force at the time. In 1996 came Tanner Roy and in 1997 Michael Cullen. In 2000 her two children walked before her at their parent’s wedding.
Karen holds two degrees: an associate in Marketing from Terra Community College and her bachelor’s in Business Administration from Tiffin University. She earned her bachelors in 2007, while her husband was on an 18-month long deployment, she was managing two kids and a dog, and while she was also working full time.
She worked at Key Bank for 23 years and had immense pride in her job. She dominated her work and was continuously promoted in her field. She was equal parts compassion and determination. Her strength spurred her to climb the Key Bank ladder, and her softness made her a great leader. Her charisma drew people to her, even if it was just to talk about banking.
She also loved to be active, especially when it involved a long walk in the woods with the dogs. Another love of hers was going to Hocking Hills with her husband and hiking endless miles of trails (but Craig goes first, “to break through the spider webs”).
Karen found strength, peace, and wisdom from studying her Bible and speaking with God. She prayed often and knew that a special spot in Heaven awaited her.
Her strength was, in part, drawn from her mother, a single mom with little means. Her strength worked her through college. It helped her hold down the fort when Craig was away. It brought her through cancer treatments. It was instilled in her two children, who would go on to do difficult and brave things in faraway places, both serving in the United States Air Force.
It’s her softness that made her cry during the ending of “Forrest Gump” and made Craig book the second date. It’s her softness that led friends and family to call her when they needed an empathetic ear. It’s why she always had a dog, or two, sitting at her feet. It’s her softness that led her to pour out her heart into prayer journals, and encourage every person in her path.
Without Karen, there will be an empty space in a workplace, in a household, in a family. But Karen has been an example of love, perseverance, and piety for 52 years — and that’s not going to stop now.
Karen is preceded in death by her mother, Laletta Kay Roy.
She is survived by her husband Craig Murray, her daughter Tanner Roy Murray, son Michael Cullen Murray; dogs Dutch and Beanz; siblings, Thomas (Kimberly) Roy, Kenneth (Linda) Roy, Janet Dukeshire, John Roy, Jacqueline Smith, Jason (Melissa) Roy, Rebecca (Mark Wilber) Roy and many nieces and nephews.
Visitation will be held on Friday, October 4 from 4 to 7 p.m. at Wonderly Horvath Hanes Funeral Home and Crematory, 425 E State St., Fremont, OH 43420. A private burial will follow at Trinity Cemetery, Helena, OH.
In lieu of flowers, please donate to the National Organization for Women at www.now.org.