MOUNT GILEAD — To say Karen Hollingsworth was of strong mind and spirit and always filled with hope would be an understatement. She was an inspiration to everyone she knew. ALS may have affected every muscle in her body but she never let it bring her down or define who she was. She shared her beautiful smile and laughed often, reminding us that there is happiness to be found in the most difficult of situations.
Karen Ann Hollingsworth, 65, of Mount Gilead died early Monday morning, Aug. 24, 2009, at her residence surrounded by her family following a nearly three-year battle with ALS, otherwise known as Lou Gehrig’s disease.
On April 22, 1944, Karen was born in Mount Vernon, the daughter of the late Herbert and Lena (Robinson) Moore. She was raised in Chesterville, where she was a member of the Chesterville High School Class of 1963.
For many years, Karen worked as a waitress at the Mohican Lodge in Butler, Howard Johnson’s in Lexington, and then at the Country Girl in Mount Gilead. One day at the Country Girl, Karen met a “charming” man she would later marry, Charles “Chuck” Hollingsworth. They were married on July 9, 1984, and shared a special bond for the past 25 years.
After the Country Girl, Karen worked for Whiston’s Pharmacy in Mount Gilead, with most of her time being dedicated to their Hallmark card shop. She was also a member of the National Hallmark Card Club.
In recent years, Karen worked as a “domestic engineer,” cleaning and taking care of some of the homes and small businesses of friends. This job suited her well, because she was always very particular about having things “just so” and this gave her the opportunity to help others keep their places sparkling.
Having inherited her father’s green thumb, Karen grew the most beautiful garden that some referred to as “Karen’s Kingwood Center.” She traveled far and wide to find the most unique flowers to plant and she enjoyed using some of her father’s and sister’s perennials as well.
An avid garage sale and flea market shopper, Karen loved adding to her collection of chickens, Santa’s and beanie babies, of which she had “hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of.”
Having a heart of gold, Karen loved giving of her time to anyone in need and especially the elderly. For those whose homes she cleaned, Karen would often sit and chat with them as long as they would like and many times she ran their errands for them.
Most proud of her family, Karen cherished family time and in recent years, vacationing out of state. She absolutely loved her first airplane ride with her daughter to California to watch the “In The Park” episode of The Ellen Show. She also enjoyed other family trips to see the gardens of the Biltmore Estate and St. Louis.
Karen had formerly attended the St. Vincent de Paul Catholic Church in Mount Vernon.
She will be dearly missed by her husband, Chuck Hollingsworth of Mount Gilead; two daughters, Debbie Lower of Cincinnati and Michele Lower of Mount Vernon, and her two children, Curtis Lower of Columbus and Sonya Dulaney of Apple Valley; three stepdaughters, Sundie (Phil) Brown of Galion, and their two daughters, Alycia and Megan Brown; April Morrissey of Huron, Tenn., and her three children, Breanna, Braden and Mikayla; and June (Roger) Cooper of Iberia, and their daughter, Joycieanna; three brothers, Robert Moore of Mount Vernon, John (Betty Jo) Moore of Stow and Richard (Barbara Jean) Moore of Mount Gilead; one sister, Carol (John) Hoffman of Fredericktown; and many nieces and nephews.
In addition to her parents and grandson, Kyle Morrissey, Karen was preceded in death by her brother, Jim Moore; and two sisters, Laura Jean Morgan and Betty Harvey. Karen and her siblings each lived valiantly with ALS.
Karen’s family will greet friends from 4 to 7 p.m. on Thursday, Aug. 27, at the Snyder Funeral Home, 76 S. Main St., Mount Gilead. Services celebrating her life will also be held there on Friday at 10:30 a.m. with Pastor Kelly Melvin officiating. Inurnment will take place in Maple Grove Cemetery at a later date.
Memorial contributions may be made to the ALS Association, 1810 Mackenzie Drive, Columbus, OH 43220; or to Hospice of Morrow County, 228 South St., Mount Gilead, OH 43338.
For those wishing to express their condolences to her family online, you may do so by visiting www.snyderfuneralhomes.com.