Karen S. Hays, 69, a lifelong Rockford resident, died unexpectedly on Monday morning, September 3, 2018 at Mercer Health Emergency Room in Coldwater. She was born May 6, 1949, in Celina, to the late Richard and Z. Fae (Kirkpatrick) Hays.
A 1967 graduate of Parkway High School and a class valedictorian, Karen completed her undergraduate schooling at Baldwin Wallace University before continuing on to Wright State University, earning her Master of Education.
Karen retired in 2006 from Celina Public Schools after 35 years as a teacher. She spent 32 years at the middle school and 3 years at the high school. Karen then went on to teach for 3 years at Wright State University-Lake Campus as an adjunct professor. She loved to work with kids and continued tutoring for many years.
Wanting to stay busy after retirement, Karen worked for many years with American Greetings keeping the card section stocked at the local stores. She was an avid reader and enjoyed music. She was a longtime member of Rockford United Methodist Church. A compassionate and generous woman, Karen adored her nieces and nephew.
She is survived by her brother, Donald (Linda) Hays of Rockford; sister, Connie Hays of Rockford; nieces: Donna (Jeff) Adams of Rushville, IN; Denise (Greg) Lochtefeld of TN; Darlene Hays of Greenville; Diane Hays of Celina; Danielle (Shaun) Ruhlen of Fort Wayne; Amanda (Chad) Webster of Pandora; nephew, Douglas (Rebecca) Hays, as well as numerous great nieces and great nephews.
Services will be at 10:30 AM, Friday, September 7th, 2018 at Ketcham-Ripley Funeral Home with Pastor Chip Steffy officiating. Interment will follow in Riverside Cemetery.
The family will receive friends from 2 to 4 & 6 to 8 PM Thursday, September 6th, 2018 at the funeral home, and again Friday one hour prior to the funeral.
Memorial contributions may be made to Rockford United Methodist Church.
Arrangements entrusted to Ketcham-Ripley Funeral Home. Condolences may be expressed at www.ketchamripley.com.