August 5, 1955 - May 25, 2019
The family is planning a Celebration of Karen’s Life on July 20th. Time and Location will be announced at a future date. Memorials may be made to Senior Services, Inc of Kalamazoo or the Juvenile Diabetes Association, c/o the funeral home
Age 63, passed away on Saturday, May 25, 2019 in Ann Arbor. Karen was born on August 5, 1955, in Ridgewood, NJ, the daughter of Donald and Priscilla (Leist) Henry. Karen worked for 26 years at Senior Services of Kalamazoo and had a reputation there of caring and concern for those she served. She was the Director of the Senior Companion Program (SCP) and later became the Director of the Foster Grandparent Program (FGP) as well. Professionally, she was a member of the Michigan Association of FGP/SCP for 20 years. In 2009, she was appointed by Governor Jennifer Granholm to a 2-year term on the Michigan Community Service Commission. Her knowledge and success with the senior volunteers led to many approved funding grants to keep the programs operating from year to year. She also served as an Executive Board member of the Kalamazoo Association of Volunteer Administrators (KAVA). Karen was a selfless, brave, thoughtful and caring person with a witty sense of humor that she held even in her final days. Karen enjoyed going on cruises, planning parties, reading and spending time with her grandchildren, who referred to her as “Bella!” (Grandma sounded too old for Karen) She enjoyed game nights with her family and was a supportive fan through her children’s multitude of sports seasons. She also enjoyed baking, interior decorating and LOVED bright colors. One of her most memorable accomplishments was serving on a committee in high school that eventually led to saving the Cascade Falls in Jackson. Karen is survived by her children, Josh Betley of Kalamazoo, Jennifer (Michael) Gilbert of Myrtle Beach, SC, Kaitlin (Nathan) Oleksyn formerly of Kalamazoo and Jared Betley of Portage; 5 grandchildren; brother, Paul (Trena) Henry of Jackson; sister, Dru (Tom) Densmore of Jackson; several nieces and nephews. She was preceded in death by her parents.