Life Story / Obituary


Karen Nellie Yahr, 77, passed away peacefully on Friday, May 31st, 2024 at The Pavilions in Traverse City, surrounded by the love of her family and the graciousness of The Pavilions Staff.

Karen was born to Clayton E. and Ina L. (Lewis) Yahr on June 26, 1946 in Traverse City. She worked at Interlochen Center for the Arts in her youth, before attending Central Michigan University, graduating with her BS degree in Elementary Education. Karen moved to the Owosso area, teaching 4th grade students until her retirement. After retirement, Karen moved from her home in Owosso to an apartment in the Corunna Michigan area where she lived until moving back to Traverse City, to The Pavillions.

Karen loved playing card games and board games and loved spending time with her family and friends, One of Karen’s favorite things was the twice a year visit of her sister, Lucile, and her two nieces for their girls-weekend at her apartment in Corunna. It was always a fun-filled weekend of games, food, and laughter with seasonal sports games playing on the TV near the game-table. Karen loved the Detroit Tigers baseball games, puzzle books, and eating out with local friends in Corunna. She also loved animals and had several during her life, including a cat named Toby, a Schnauzer named Smokey Joe, and a Shih Tzu named Ginger. Karen had two very special friendships during her lifetime. Karen and Rose, both teachers at Washington Elementary School, were best friends who always kept track of one another, either in person or in phone calls, while Karen lived in the Owosso area. Karen and longtime friend Cheryl Bouman also shared a special bond and the two had a standing date with a cribbage board each Friday at the Pavillions after Karen moved back to Traverse City.

Karen is survived by her brother, Marion (June) Yahr, sister-in-law, Nancy Yahr, and many nieces, nephews, and great-nieces and great-nephews. She was preceded in death by her parents and her brothers Ronald Yahr and Gerald (first wife Nona Fay, second wife Edith) Yahr, sister Lucile (Elmer) Dunham and friend Rose Bowman.

A graveside service and interment will be held at the Maple Grove Cemetery in Grawn on Tuesday June 18, 2024 at 11AM. Memorial contributions may be made to the Grawn Fire Dept., Interlochen Center for the Arts or to the Cherryland Humane Society.

The family would like to thank the staff of The Pavilions for their tenderness and caring of Karen during her residency there, as well as the Life Story Funeral Home, Traverse City for help with final arrangements.

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