Karen M. Wylie
When Karen entered heaven on April 15th, she was reunited with her beloved husband Eric. She passed away peacefully at Silver Cross Hospital surrounded by the love of her family, due to complications from emergency surgery.
Karen was born to be a Registered Nurse. She grew up caring for any injured creature and spent her entire life caring for people. She loved taking care of others, whether her patients in the hospital, her children, grandchildren or her beloved pets. Karen will always be remembered as an individual who put her heart and soul into caring for others.
Karen grew up in Flint, Michigan as the oldest of Elsie and Leonard’s five children. She remained close to all of her siblings, Phyllis, Larry (Deb), Michelle (Fuzzy), and Roxanne (Bob) as well as her cousin Sandy (Norm) who she felt was more like a sister than cousin and Gary who she often referred to as her other brother. Karen met her husband Eric at a college dance. They were married for just under 20 years when he passed away suddenly in 1990. Eric and Karen moved to several states during the early years of their marriage while Eric was in the Navy. They settled in Joliet in 1976 and Illinois became their home. Karen worked part time as a registered nurse and volunteered at Forest Park I.E. as their librarian and unofficial school nurse.
Karen is survived by her daughter Sheri (Jerry) and son Eric (Pam), her beloved grandchildren, Holley, Colton, and Elle and her cherished pocket poodle companion Joey. While Karen loved being a mom, she loved even more being a grandmother. She is also survived by many nieces, nephews, great nieces, great nephews, cousins, and will be greatly missed by her large extended family.
Karen’s love of crafts and her exceptional sewing is known by many. Karen also loved live theater and was an active member of a Red Hats group for several years. She had talked of starting her own group since she missed the fun. Karen loved to travel in her motorhome and visit her favorite island, St. Martin. Karen will be remembered most for her long nursing career. She loved to teach and taught certified nursing students at Joliet Junior College for several years. Karen worked for over 20 years at UIHealth, starting on the 6E Neuro Step Down where she was a head nurse for many years before moving into nursing administration. She then worked a number of years on the night shift, first as a nursing supervisor and then going back to bedside nursing in the Emergency Department. Karen was a friend to everyone she met and loved helping others. Her generous spirit and beautiful smile touched all who met her.
Visitation will be held on Saturday, April 24, 2021 from 2 pm to 5 pm at Blackburn-Giegerich-Sonntag Funeral Home at 1500 Black Road, Joliet, IL 60435. Karen will be interred with her husband at Arlington National Cemetery in Washington DC. Her dedication to compassion and kindness would best be served by donations to her favorite charity, the Salvation Army.