Obituary of Karen Marie Plum
To adequately summarize this well lived life is heartbreakingly impossible especially in the face of its abrupt ending. I can only simply say what she loved.
She loved her family from past to present; biological in nature to chosen. Our family ritual is collective storytelling. My fondest memories involved the gathering of family… my mom, grand and great grandparents, aunts and uncles, her 6 siblings (whom she absolutely adored) and countless cousins, nieces, and nephews. A tree that was always welcoming with room for more to join. There was often not space for everyone in the same room, but you could float from group to group hearing stories. Stories that we happily heard many times, stories that we longed for, stories that fed us and remind us of who we are and where we come from; that spoke of happiness, joy, sorrow and sometimes mischief that are all a part of a well-worn life. Experiences that indelibly link us all. It is through these stories I got to experience my mother in the days before I even met her… who she was as a child and how she became the person I was lucky enough to call Mom...and others were lucky enough to call GMK, sister, aunt, friend… but overall… just family. Today I use these stories as a salve for the raw emptiness and I am mourning the fact that new stories with her won’t happen.
She loved her siblings and their spouses (John and Gloria, Monty and Linda, Lynn and Tom, Ray, Patrick and Martha, and Michael) and the excitement of simply talking to them on the phone or meeting them in NYC or going on vacations with them was something she lived for.
She loved her nieces and nephews…caring from them as her own children when they were young, and always interested in their lives and the paths they chose as they grew into adults.
I know for absolute certain that she loved me and my sister Kristin in such an expansive way that is even more evident in her absence. She believed in us always, believed in our possibilities and never gave up fighting for us.
She loved her two chosen daughters, Anita and Lara, and their spouses Chris and Kevin and reveled in how lucky she was to have them in her life. And when she thought she was done adding to the tree, along came Danielle and Kristin, and our family instantly grew with more love and adventures.
She loved Evan, Emily, Max, Brendan and Ryan with every fiber of her being. Specifically, she loved to dream with them, laugh with them, dance with them, throw “star parties” with them. She loved her title, Grandma Karen (GMK) and took it very seriously.
She loved her puppies. Bella (aka the princess), Mackie (aka baby monkey) and Allister (aka big guy) with a passion. And all the puppies that came before (DJ, Baby, Dundee, Monte, Maverick and Brandy). All animals that came into the house became hers and seemed to have an instant understanding of her love, which drew them in.
She loved traveling and laughing and sharing with her friends Liz, Brandy and Jaleo, and Kathy and Joe.
She loved her job selling real estate and loved working and connecting with people. She loved her partner in that endeavor Clare.
She loved those in need. And was always there to give what was needed even when it meant she went without.
She loved cooking, a beautifully set table and… Brussel sprouts. She loved them so much she often proclaimed it and that always made us laugh.
She loved the Outer Banks and being there with the people she loved was the icing on the cake.
She loved being a part of things, the simplicity of sharing life and experiences.
She was and will forever be loved.
Karen Marie Van Voorhis Plum
November 24, 1950 – January 5, 2021