Karen Whitaker loved to travel and on November 21, 2020, she began what she believed would
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be her final trip to be joined for eternity with God in whom she very devoutly believed. Born on
January 14, 1940 in Cleveland, Ohio to Ed and Marion Whitaker who predeceased her, Karen's
early years were split between Ohio and Jamestown and Boulder, Colorado with a brief sojourn
in Pasadena, California. Karen went to high school at Mount St. Gertrude Academy in Boulder
for one year before graduating from Villa Angela Academy in Cleveland in 1958. After
graduating she moved one last time to Boulder where would remain until complications from
Parkinson's disease would require her move to Longmont about a year and a half ago.
Karen lived a full life and was much appreciated by her friends and the people she worked with
during her 60+ years in Boulder. Shortly after graduating high school she worked at both the
Fox and Boulder Theaters and then at National State Bank but her longest tenure was with
Boulder Medical Center for over 30 years in a variety of positions of increasing responsibility
where her level head and common sense approach to life and its complications served her, her
co-workers and her employer well.
Karen was a very active member of the St Martin de Porres Parish in south Boulder where she
assisted as an Extraordinary Minister of Holy Communion, helped with fundraisers and
contributed to many art shows. Karen was the founder of the annual Christmas Market at St
Martins and set it up for many years. She also organized formal tea parties for the Church and
decorated the Altar for Lent "for at least a thousand years" and had her own little "Karen's
closet" at the Church in which she stored her decorations and supplies. She also volunteered
for many years at the Little Sisters of the Poor Mullen Home for the Aged in Denver where her
cheerful disposition, good humor and artistic flair were much appreciated by the community and
Karen was an accomplished watercolor artist and leaves behind many beautiful paintings and
greeting card designs which are cherished by the many people she shared these with over the
And, as mentioned previously, Karen was a traveller. If she had the time and the money she
was off somewhere! She visited almost every American state and a few Canadian provinces.
She saw parts of China and much of Europe but her two favorite destinations were the
Galapagos Islands on one occasion and Assisi, Italy which she returned to again and again to
walk the streets that St. Francis walked and to draw inspiration for her spirit and for her art in
which scenes from Assisi featured prominently. Those works will remind those who see them
of her talent, vitality and love of life for many years to come.
Karen is survived by her sister, Mary Lynn Tipton, her nephew Owen Tipton (and his wife Jamie
Lea) and grandnieces Miah and Monroe Tipton and two goddaughters whom she cherished
A funeral Mass will be said for Karen at Sacred Heart of Mary in South Boulder on Thursday,
December 3rd at 10:00am with burial to follow next to her parents at the cemetary there.
Sometime next Spring a celebration of Karen's life will be held. Those wishing to attend are
encouraged to email her sister Mary Lynn Tipton at email@example.com and she will let
you know the details of when and where Karen will be properly honored and remembered.
In lieu of flowers contributions to the Little Sisters of the Poor, 3629 West 29th Avenue, Denver,
CO 80211 in Karen's name are encouraged.