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Karen Ann Petry

Obituary for Karen Ann Petry

March 14, 1931 - March 25, 2018
Newark, Delaware | Age 87

Celebrating the Wonderful Life and Perfect Example of our Precious Mother, Loving Wife & Amazing Teacher!


Karen Ann Petry, age 87, of Newark, Delaware transitioned from her earthen vessel to her glorified body in Christ on Sunday, March 25, 2018. She was brought into this world on March 14, 1931, in Middletown, Ohio to the late William Thomas Klopp and Margaret Mary (DeFord) Klopp.

Karen Ann Klopp Petry lived a colorful, selfless life raising six beautiful children and leaving behind many wonderful memories for her surviving family and all who are blessed enough to have crossed paths with her during her time on this Earth.

Very early in life, Karen developed a keen focus and drive not present in adults twice or thrice her age, if ever at all. With her entrepreneurial spirit blossoming at such an extremely young age; as a small child, Karen picked some beautiful flowers from the lady's house who lived on the corner of her street and then proceeded to try and sell them to her! She was promptly escorted home to answer for her crime. LoL

Also, quite astonishingly, at the age of 9, Karen edited and published her own home-printed newspaper called "Scoops." In 1945, the Middletown Ohio Journal recognized Scoops' competition and assigned a staff writer to interview Karen and her story was told on August 19, 1945. "Scoops" started as a four-page semi-monthly newspaper and grew to 18 pages with a peak circulation of 80 paid subscribers before it's final edition. From Scoops she moved to the staff of the Middletown High School paper, and then to the "Transcript" at the Ohio Wesleyan University where she majored in Journalism. She then became a full-time Society Editor and Society Reporter for the Middletown Ohio News Journal.

Karen was a gifted artist who created beautiful art with pastels and charcoal. Some of her work can be seen in the photos section of this memorial. She also loved classical music very much and could often name a piece by simply hearing a few notes, which for most people is not an easy thing to do; especially with classical music. She loved the French horn most of all, which she joyfully played in her high school band.

Admirably, Karen was a plane spotter during World War II while her husband, Robert Frederic Petry Jr. proudly served in the Air Force. As part of an Air Force family, Karen traveled and lived in many places including California, Texas, Ohio, Hawaii, and Japan, before settling in Newark, Delaware. Such experiences helped mold her into the well rounded, vibrant and cultured lady that she was. Karen was also an active member of the CAP (Civil Air Patrol), the Girl Scouts, Cub Scouts and Boy Scouts, the DAR (Daughters of the American Revolution), the AWM (American War Mothers), the Golden Key Honor Society, the National Association for Uniformed Serices, the Disabled American Veterans Auxiliary, Military Officers Association Auxiliary, and the Newark Historical Society.

Karen had a remarkably good eye for photography, which she immensely enjoyed, and had a flair for taking uniquely creative black and white photos in particular. Her work was highly praised by her professor at the University of Delaware during her continued education and he encouraged her to continue taking photos every single day so as to hone her gift. One humorously unfortunate consequence of her passion for photography was the loss of our downstairs bathroom, as it was off limits for days at a time when it was transformed into her darkroom!

Researching genealogy was another passion for Karen. Happily searching old cemeteries for clues and taking photographs of unique and beautiful tombstones was very enjoyable for her, often becoming an all day affair until sundown. As a result of her meticulous investigation, Mom was able to trace our ancestors all the way back to Charlemagne! Perhaps even further. To the uninitiated, Charlemagne (c.742-814), also known as Karl and Charles the Great, was a medieval emperor who ruled much of Western Europe from 768 to 814. In 771, Charlemagne became king of the Franks, a Germanic tribe in present-day Belgium, France, Luxembourg, the Netherlands and western Germany. He embarked on a mission to unite all Germanic peoples into one kingdom, and convert his subjects to Christianity. A skilled military strategist, he spent much of his reign engaged in warfare in order to accomplish his goals. In 800, Pope Leo III (750-816) crowned Charlemagne emperor of the Romans. In this role, he encouraged the Carolingian Renaissance, a cultural and intellectual revival in Europe. When he died in 814, Charlemagne's empire encompassed much of Western Europe, and he had also ensured the survival of Christianity in the West. Today, Charlemagne is referred to by some as the father of Europe. Knowing we're related to such an historic figure as Charlemagne is something we are proud of. Thanks Mom, You're awesome!

Karen was born with an insatiable curiosity and an incessant desire to learn from day one. Unsurprisingly, she was an avid reader and an excellent writer as well. In 1995 while continuing her education at the University of Delaware, majoring in History and Journalism, she won the Fourth Annual Sword of Hope Award - College Newspaper catagory, for her article on breast cancer in young women entitled, " Women Talk of Struggle with Silent Killer." In 1996 she was awarded the History Department Old Home Prize for her book entitled "Following The Sun: Main Street in Newark, Delaware" which can be found within the "Special Collections" at the University of Delaware Morris Library. It's quite fascinating to look at old pictures of Main Street Newark when it was still traveled by horse and buggy carriages on a dirt road! It's also incredible to learn that the one of the oldest houses here in Newark, at the corner of Hillside Road and West Main Street, was literally towed here from Baltimore! God only knows how THAT was accomplished! Apparently, the man's wife didn't want to move here with him because she really loved her home, so he brought along the whole house with them! And one other little nugget of note about Newark that Mom discovered during her research: The Newark Manor Nursing Home on West Main Street, next to the Presbyterian Church? It was a brothel! It's amazing the things Mom uncovered with the brilliant spirit of curiousity that was so delightfully alive within her during her lifetime.

Another admirable, yet mostly unnoticed characteristic that was instilled within Karen was her spirit of humble generosity. No matter how tight the bills were, Mom always had something to give to causes that weighed on her heart. Whether consciously or not, Mom was simply abiding with God's Word. Matthew Chapter 6:2 "Whenever you give to the poor, don't blow your trumpet as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets so that they may get praise from people. I assure you, that's the only reward they'll get. 3 But when you give to the poor, don't let your left hand know what your right hand is doing 4 so that you may give to the poor in secret. Your Father who sees what you do in secret will reward you." And 1 John 3:17 But if a person has material possessions and sees a brother or sister in need and that person doesn't care - how can the love of God remain in him?" Yet another trait Mom possessed in confirmation that her life was a positive example to us all.

Later in life, Karen was employed with the world's largest independent credit card issuer MBNA (Formerly called Maryland National Bank) as a customer retention specialist where quite notably, her outstanding telephone communication skills combined with her pleasing voice led to recordings of her calls being used as standard training material for new hires! She retired from MBNA with 19 accommodations in recognition of her exemplary accomplishments. Wow.

In life, Karen always chose to see the bright side of things. Her rare ability to encourage and help others to see things from an optimistic perspective was quite extraordinary. She also had the ability to diffuse negativity with her highly contagious, uplifting and ever-present sense of humor. Karen's favorite quote was, "The impossible just takes a little longer" and as evidenced throughout her illustrious life, she not only talked the talk, but walked the walk. Whenever she set her sights on achieving a goal, she simply never quit, no matter what. Like the Energizer Bunny, she would just keep going, and going, and going...

Wherever Karen went, people were always attracted to her beautiful appearance, charming personality, and glowing spirit. There was just something about her that made people take notice of her. She had the incomprehensible ability to put people at ease in her presence and make them feel comfortable. So much so, that often times a complete stranger would open up and begin sharing their private life stories with her within minutes. It was truly mind-boggling to witness. I recall one episode when after viewing a movie at the theater, Mom came out of the ladies room acquainted with a woman she had never met before knowing where she was employed, how long she was married and how many kids she had! I think Mom could have easliy done well as an undercover international spy. LoL

There is one personal note of eternal gratitude I wish to publicly share in this memorial tribute to our Mother. She was such a supreme mentor to me for my entire life and I have lived with her every single day of my 54 years on this planet. I am beyond grateful for them all, yet the one moment for which I am the most eternally grateful for is this one: while sitting on the edge of my bed one day during my teenage years, going through a bit of soul searching like teenagers do, Mom walked in and handed me her green, hardcover Bible. She said, "You might find something in here you like." and left the room. The timing could not have been more precise if it were personally orchestrated by God, Himself. No doubt it was. The instant I opened that Bible that day and looked at the Word of God, I simply... knew. I just... knew. Mom, as I've told you before, you changed my life forever that day and even though no words exist to ever truly thank you... Thank You Mom, I Love You Too. Dale

There is no doubt that our Mother is one of the most kind and caring, gentle souls to ever grace this earth. Such is the loving, generous, Christian spirit of Karen Ann Klopp Petry and as it lives on within her forever in Heaven, she will be deeply loved and missed unceasingly by all of us still here on earth who are truly blessed to have had the wonderful fortune and pleasure to know her and gaze upon her bright, ever smiling face and into her beautiful, loving hazel eyes. Until we meet again, "Mom, we love you beyond words, and we all miss you very much... every moment of every single day."

πŸŒΌπŸ’—πŸŒΌ πŸ’— πŸŒΌπŸ’— 🌼



Now is the only time
You'll ever know.
Tomorrow never comes,
The Past is long ago.
Life is a movie,
Where you act out your scenes,
But there are no rehearsals
To tell you where you've been.
Before you realize it
The End is in sight,
Stealing forth like a thief
In the night.
So make the most
Of your moments each day,
For when the end comes,
There will be no replay.

Β©1989 Karen Ann Petry

πŸ’— πŸ’— πŸ’—


Our loving Mom,
Once upon a time not so long ago,
Heaven burst into supreme celebration.
The news of your arrival, the light of your glow,
The exciting adventure beginning for you.

Our adorable Mom,
Never been anyone quite like you,
You're one-of-a-kind, an angel among us in plain view.
You always choose to see the bright side of things.
You make life happy with the joy that you bring.

Our treasured Mom,
Without you, the universe and all that it is,
Would sadly be less than it is.
But we rejoice today because it is not less; it is so much more.
And with you in our hearts, through the skies above we soar.

Our cherished Mom,
You're the kind of person impossible to forget,
A one-in-a-zillion to the people you've met.
Your friends are as varied as the places you go,
And they all want to tell you in case you don't know:

Dear lady, you've made such a difference in our lives that you touch,
By taking so little and giving so very much.

Our selfless Mom who never stops loving,
Hear us now from the depths of our hearts,
We love you back so very, very much.
You've fought so hard and given everything,
Now rest in Heaven, Love... as the Angels sing.

! love you times !nfinity, Mom πŸ’• Dale

Β©2009-2018 Dale Robert Gunn

πŸŒΌπŸ’—πŸŒΌ πŸ’—πŸŒΌ πŸ’—πŸŒΌ

Among those who will cherish her memory are three sons: Dale Robert Gunn; Michael Scott Petry and his husband, Demis; David Lee Petry and his wife, Elizabeth; two daughters: Linda (Petry) Midkiff, Margaret Ann Petry; her beloved cat, Diamond; three granddaughters; one great grandson and a host of nieces and nephews too numerous to mention.

Karen was predeceased by her parents: father William Thomas Klopp; mother, Margaret Mary (nee DeFord); son, Robert Dale Petry; husband Robert Frederic Petry Jr. and brother William DeFord Klopp.

A visitation for Karen will be held between 12:00 p.m. and 1:00 p.m. on Thursday, April 12, 2018 at R.T. Foard & Jones, Inc., 122 W. Main St., Newark, DE 19711. Burial will follow at 2:00 p.m. at Delaware Veterans Memorial Cemetery.

Thank you in advance to all who are gracious enough to "sign" Mom's guestbook. Feel free to share any memories and kind thoughts of Karen you may have no matter how trivial you may believe them to be. Life is precious and nothing is trivial. Also, you can find a wide range of photos in the picture gallery and a tribute video for Mom that I personally made by clicking the Multimedia tab above. (Smartphones: Tap the "Classic" view button on the bottom right of this page to be able to see the Multimedia tab above) May God Bless You in the name of Jesus Christ. ~ Dale Gunn

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Thank you for your love and support during this difficult time.
Please enhance this tribute to Karen by adding your memories and photos.
Thank you and God Bless You in the name of Jesus Christ.

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R.T. Foard & Jones, Inc.

122 W. Main Street
Newark, DE 19711
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