Mrs. Karen Elaine Goerger age 63, of Leisure World, Mesa, Arizona unexpectedly passed away quietly, her face serene, mid-morning Monday, July 31, 2017 at Banner Baywood Hospital, Mesa. Her request was to be cremated, no service and I am to keep her for the rest of my life in a lavender colored metal Urn with sliver butterflies etched on it. In keeping with her wishes, arrangements are tentatively set for, later this month, and being handled by Horizon Funeral Care, of Mesa AZ. She is survived by me her husband, John W Goerger (age 66), soul mate of 15 years, my step-brother Edward Doney and his wife Mary; a niece of Karen, Mrs. Hayley-Reese (Dante) Fort Bragg, North Carolina (Richard). Karen was born, March 4, 1954 to Vincent & Viola Holeton (married Aug. 4, 1951) of St. Paris, Ohio. Karen graduated from Graham High School at St. Paris Ohio May 28, 1972. Karen was fond of saying; “when she was born, St. Paris had only two traffic lights, and still does today”.
She looked after her parents in their later years. Her father at 80, died on June 27, 1993. After his passing, her mother sold her home and moved in with Karen in Piqua, Ohio, where they rented an apartment until her mother’s passing at 81, on July 18, 2001. Karen had two half-brothers from a previous marriage of her mother, predeceased her: Harold Mills of Piqua, on Dec. 9, 2013, and Richard Mills of Urbana, Ohio, on Feb 21, 2015. Karen was employed for twenty years with Upper Valley Medical, in Piqua, medical insurance verification.
In August 2001, Karen and I met on the internet. We exchanged emails, phone calls/ letters to each other. Karen would later say, “John was the only person who kept calling me during my drive across the U.S. to ask her how I was doing.” In October, Karen arrived in Elko, Nevada, staying with friends who resided there. In early December, I proposed to her. Given the large number of correspondences and my employment with the Orange County Sheriff’s Department, Orange County, Calif., Karen decided to fly to Orange County to meet me on the Dec. 21, 2001. The next day, my friends, William and Lotti Combs, drove us to Las Vegas, where we were married. Karen was employed with the Santa Ana Medical Center, Santa Ana doing medical insurance verification. Karen told her friends in Ohio that she was so happy being married to John.
Fall of 2004 we decided to take retirement, and moved to Everett, Wash. in November. I was employed by the Boeing Airplane Company and Karen worked for Premera of Mt. Lake Terrance, in her specialty. In 2011 we learned that, my mother, Mary Doney, who resided in Leisure World of Mesa, AZ, needed live-in assistance at 100 years of age. At Karen’s insistence, we moved to Mesa to look after Mom, arriving Sept. 11, 2011.Four months before we left Wash., Karen and I learned that she had medical issues.
In March 2013, we were informed that Karen had A-fib among other ailments. We were contacted by MaryAnn Cosby Clanton who invited us and mom to the “Clanton Rendezvous” held in Tombstone in Nov., 2011. MaryAnn said that she and my mom were like “two peas in a pod”, saying, “You are part of our family; you and Karen call me 'mom'.” My mom passed away, April 9, 2013.
Karen was skilled at drawing, painting and coloring. She loved TV shows like the “Beverly Hillbillies”, “M*A*S*H”, the original “Star Trek”, “Have Gun Will Travel” “Sugarfoot”, “Gunsmoke” and “Looney Toons”! Her favorite films were The Sound of Music, The Wizard of Oz, Rio Grande and all of the James Bond films. She enjoyed watching old sci-fi classics such as Forbidden Planet, and Them! She told me many times how she enjoyed watching Them!, and got a kick out of watching James Arness portraying an FBI Agent, and wondered if Them! , should have been a pre-curser to “The X-files”!
She was thrilled seeing baby quails in Leisure World. She loved the Butterfly Science Center in Scottsdale and adored her b/w miniature poodle we had purchased (Oct. 2002) when in Orange County; “LittleBit”. It broke our hearts when “LB” had a ‘stroke’ Aug. 2016. Her favorite items to collect were turtles, owls, Dory (from Finding Nemo), Minions (Despicable Me), figurines as well as Maxine (Hallmark and cartoons). Another memory she always liked mentioning was seeing me for the first time waiting for her at John Wayne airport, wearing a suit and holding two dozen red roses for her. She is at Peace.