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Karen Larkin

d. June 11, 2022

Karen Lynn Conklin Larkin passed away, Saturday June 11, 2022.  Karen was the daughter of Richard Harrison Conklin and Wilma Winifred Anderson Conklin.  She was born in KCK in 1946 and graduated from Wyandotte High School in 1963.  After graduating from Kansas State Teachers College (now Emporia State University) in 1967 with a bachelor’s degree in education, Karen began a career as a teacher.  She started with History and Social Studies in the Shawnee Mission School district where she gave 33 successful years to her students.  As a life-long learner, Karen continued her education and completed a master’s degree in Gifted Education.

In all aspects of life Karen was creative and nurturing; from planning individualized learning plans for her gifted students to decorating her home she strove for things to be just right.  She had great admiration and respect for nature and usually kept more than a dozen feeders and several heated water sources in the back yard that were always open to any animal who wanted it.

Karen was an avid reader; she organized the Book Lovers sig for Mid-America Mensa (MAM) with the idea that the group should choose topics or authors rather than all reading the same book.  She was an avid social historian and her reading usually focused on what people were doing in terms of societal trends and norms.  For many years Karen was the head proctor for MAM and after fulfilling this post for a time she recognized that she was the first person who met new members.  This was extremely fortunate for her husband Tim, a gifted procrastinator in 1990, when he finally got it together and took the Mensa entrance exam.  He joined MAM in early 1991 at a time when the group was organizing the American Mensa Annual Gathering.  As the registration chairperson Karen was always on the lookout for more volunteers and another member of the organizing committee was happy to point Tim in Karen’s direction when he offered to help.  This lucky chain of events gave Karen and Tim a wonderful 31-year friendship and a loving and devoted marriage for 29 years.

In 1991, Karen was proud to be elected the first female president of the Kansas City Saint Andrew Society in its 76-year history at that point.  She served two consecutive terms as president during which she worked to keep the organization current and relevant to the greater Scottish community.  Over the years she also served as recording secretary and VP; always with the goal of continuing to foster Scottish heritage and tradition.  At her passing she was serving as the Society’s librarian.  She was a truly gifted and creative teacher to the very end.

Karen passed after a very short bout of brain cancer; most likely from metastasized breast cancer she survived 22 years earlier.  She will truly be missed by her former students; many of whom reached out to her many years after graduation and found wisdom, guidance, and comfort whenever they were in her company.

A genealogist, Karen began researching her family tree when it was necessary to go to archives and libraries to search for records then wait weeks for requests to be fulfilled.  The internet and ancestry software greatly enhanced her abilities, and she was also able to research Tim’s family tree.  Karen  was a passionate giver who relished a chance to help others in whatever way she could.

Many branches of her family tree will miss having Karen in their lives.  Most especially her adoring brother, Richard James Conklin and his marvelous wife Elaine; and her devoted husband Tim who will enjoy the wonderful memories Karen so freely gave him for the rest of his days on this planet.  Rest in Peace sweet Karen!

Karen’s life will be celebrated in late summer 2022.  Please make donations to the American Cancer Society via Karen’s Mosaic page; http://main.acsevents.org/goto/Karen_Larkin

Donations:

American Cancer Society via Karen's Mosaic Page
Web: http://main.acsevents.org/goto/Karen_Larkin

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