Karen Sue Achor, November 15, 1960 - February 10, 2020 of Highland, Indiana, passed from this life after a brave and hard-fought battle with cancer. Karen was born 16 minutes ahead of her beloved twin sister, Sharon (Joe) Hamilton, joining her older brother, Richard (Elizabeth) Achor, and followed closely by younger sister, Frankie (Tom) Schiller, stepbrother, Archie (Bonnie) Abatie, as well as stepdad Walter Abatie. A natural leader, Karen enjoyed her time at Highland High, spending time with friends, working hard at various jobs from the age of 14 on and representing her school as a swimmer and president of the Future Homemakers of America.
She briefly attended Purdue University and returned to Highland to marry and become mother to her oldest, Olivia (Tim) Logan (nee Griner) in 1980. In 1984, after moving to Warner Robins, Georgia, and joining the United States Air Force, she brought her youngest child, Patricia (David) Pavnica (nee Griner), into the world.
Her passion, commitment and patriotism took her far over her eight years of service in the armed forces, where she served as squadron leader in tech school and as a medic in the European theater during the first Persian Gulf conflict. Karen and her girls enjoyed many adventures over three years while she was stationed at Upper Heyford Air Force Base in the United Kingdom, including beautiful memories spent in Paris with Sharon and childhood best friend Sheryl Dreelan (nee Schau) in celebration of their 30th birthdays.
Karen returned to her childhood home after leaving the military in 1992, to raise her daughters in Northwest Indiana and spent the next several years focused on her family and friends. Always willing to lend a hand and with an incredibly strong faith, Karen led the high school youth group, and managed the Sunday school and Vacation Bible School programs at Gloria Dei Lutheran Church, all while working full-time as an optometry technician and clinic manager.
After a successful career in retail management, Karen retired to be a full-time homemaker to her husband, Keith Hawkins (married 2004),“Gigi” to four beautiful grandchildren, and devoted dog mom. She enjoyed spending time with family and friends sharing stories, creating beautiful special occasion cakes, cooking and roadtripping across most of the 50 states, often on the back of a Harley.
Karen will be remembered for her huge heart, her giving spirit, her sense of adventure, her lack of fear and the deep love and commitment that she gave to her entire family, including step-grandchildren, nephews, nieces, cousins and cherished friends, who will miss her greatly. Her husband and children also give loving thanks to her best friend, Cheryl Jones (nee Kendrick), who was by her side through every step of her valiant fight. Karen was preceded in death by her parents, Harlan Eugene Achor and Frances Carol Abatie, and joins them in peace.
A memorial service for Karen will be held on Saturday, February 22, at 11am at Gloria Dei (Glory to God) Lutheran Church (3711 Ridge Road, Highland, IN, 46322), immediately preceded by a gathering for those who wish to pay their respects to the family beginning at 10am. A Celebration of Life party will follow the service at Wicker Park Social Center, 8554 Indianapolis Blvd, Highland, IN 46322. In lieu of flowers, the family appreciates donations to Gloria Dei given in her memory.
For additional information, please contact Hillside Funeral Home & Cremation Center Konnie Kuiper-Kevin Nordyke by calling us at 219-838-0800 or visiting us at www.hillsidefhcares.com
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