Obituaries » Karen Kay Stayonovich
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September 5, 1954 - January 11, 2022
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Lima – Karen Kay Stayonovich, 67, passed away from lifelong complications brought on by Multiple Sclerosis on January 11, 2022 at Mercy Health St. Rita’s Medical Center with her loving family by her side including, in spirit, her beloved son Travis Sparrow who preceded her in death.
Karen was born September 5, 1954 in Fort Thomas, Kentucky to Ralph and Margaret (Boone) Knipper who also preceded her in death. Karen will be lovingly remembered by her husband of 43 years, Larry; daughters, Krista (Chris) Sprouse and Alicia Stayonovich; a granddaughter, Avarie Sparrow; a grandson, Micah Wilson; siblings, Carol (Ollie, dec’d) Wilbers and Ralph (Joyce) Knipper; and numerous other family members and friends. She was also predeceased by a sister Joan (Robert) Orchard.
Karen graduated from Lima Senior High School in 1972 and after graduation worked as a secretary for the City of Lima Engineering Department and then Lucas Construction. In 1988 she found her calling as a librarian for Lima City Schools, first at Washington McKinley/Freedom Elementary School and then at Unity Elementary School. For 18 years Karen delighted children and adults of all ages with her uncanny ability to read stories aloud. She had a gift of being able to change her voice to convey the various personalities of the characters in the stories which captivated her audience.
Most importantly, Karen was a loving, caring and giving wife, mother and grandmother. She was always thinking about and eager to see her family and friends. She was known for and loved to cook and bake. She always made sure there was more than enough for everyone. Every birthday, holiday, family get-together, and party she hosted required a theme. From carnivals to pirates, dog birthday parties to weddings, Karen’s countless hours of planning and preparation were unsurpassed. Specialty drinks were a must!
Karen loved dogs, especially Max, her rescue Chihuahua, hard rock music, shopping, murder mystery shows and books, the Christmas season, Kevin Costner, Rush Limbaugh and Robert Redford (before he “got old”). Not necessarily in that order. She hated romantic comedies, liberals, snow, Thanksgiving, and when her kids didn’t answer their phones. Not necessarily in that order.
She loved the beach and planning unforgettable vacations which have gifted her family with a lifetime of incredible memories. From sailing the seas of the Western Caribbean to island hopping in Hawaii, no travel planner could compare. Annual trips to Florida for Walt Disney World and the beach were the highlight of her children’s childhood. Even a long weekend spent in Columbus was filled with the most amazing activities for all to enjoy and remember for years to come. Thankfully, Karen was able to spend her last Thanksgiving on the beach in St. Petersburg, watching the sunset in her favorite location.
Visitation will be held on Monday, January 17, 2022 from 11:00am- 3:00pm at Chiles-Laman Funeral Home, Shawnee Chapel. Memorial Service will begin at 3:00pm with Pastor Jim Neighbors officiating. Interment will be at a later date at Greenlawn Cemetery in Wapakoneta, Ohio. A Celebration of Karen’s Life will be held after the service at the Fraternal Order of Police Lodge in Lima. In lieu of flowers, Karen and her family request a memorial contribution be made to All Star Pet Rescue, 4732 Amaryllis Street, Elida, Ohio 45807 or the National MS Society.