Oshawa Funeral Home


Karen LeBel

28 April, 19525 February, 2018

Karen (Murray) LeBel was born April 28, 1952, the 4th child, and 3rd daughter for Don and Irene Murray, in Picton, Ontario. The Murray family continued to grow and soon settled in Port Perry Ontario, where Karen attended elementary and high school. After spending her teenage years babysitting and helping care for her younger siblings, Karen attended Sir Sandford Fleming College in Peterborough, where she graduated with the very first class of Early Childhood Educators, cementing her lifelong passion for working with children. She took a job in Oshawa, Ontario as a Nursery school teacher, settling nicely into a life in the city. On a snowy winter’s night, she met AJ LeBel, who she always claimed to immediately know was ‘the one’. They were engaged 6 short days later, and married on February 14, 1973. The next few years were a whirlwind for Karen and AJ, as they welcomed Shannon Dawn in March of 1974, moved to Chatham, Ontario, where they welcomed Shane Roger in December of 1975, and purchased their first home together in nearby Thamesville in 1976. In Thamesville Karen ran a home daycare, and AJ a renovation company. The late 70s were a time of true joy and contentment for this little family of 4, and their fuzzy brown pal, Barney. The siren call of the oil fields lured the LeBel’s west, and in 1980, they moved to Thorsby, Alberta. In Thorsby, Karen began a career as an education assistant, while AJ made efforts to start up his construction business on the tail of the oil boom. Despite developing a great circle of friends, and welcoming visits from family from afar, life in Alberta was not meant to be for the LeBel family, and in the summer of 1985, they returned to their roots in Oshawa. Over the next decades Karen worked as a college instructor, ECE, and ultimately a childcare centre supervisor, where she spent many happy years with Schoolhouse Playcare. In October of 1995, she and AJ were elated to become grandparents, when Bailey Joseph was born, he quickly became the centre of their universe and was a true source of joy when AJ was diagnosed with and quickly succumbed to illness in September 1996. The next year was a quiet one for Karen, as she adjusted to life on her own for the first time in nearly 25 years, but was fortunate to be surrounded by an amazing circle of family and an extended group of friends who were like family to her. In October of 1997, she welcomed the birth of her second grandson, Caleb Frederick – who joined in his brother in being the single greatest source of joy and pride in her life. The late 90’s and early 2000’s were times of friendship, laughter, celebration and occasional grief. Karen spent endless hours enjoying life at her trailer in Campbellford, discovered a love of the tropics during multiple trips south, and left her job in childcare to return to an Education Assistant role with Durham District Schoolboard. In 2010, she met Ron White, and realized the second love of her life. She and Ron were married at home in March of 2012, where they lived with their faithful sidekicks, Mindy and Buffy. Life was easy, enjoying being outside at the pool in the summer, sitting for hours with family at friends at their dining room table enjoying Karen’s home cooking and baking, relishing her relationships with her daughter-in law Lee Ann and son-in-law Steve, and traveling whenever possible. In January of 2016, Karen was delighted by the arrival of first granddaughter, Elsbeth (Ellie) Tremblay, who became a ray of sunshine as she began to struggle with her health. She left her role as an EA in early 2016 to focus on her health, spending her final two years with her husband, siblings, family and friends – delighting in every single moment with her grandchildren, who were the light of her life. After battling chronic lung and heart disease, Karen peacefully passed on Monday, February 5, 2018, holding the hands of her children, and surrounded by the love of her whole family. She will be sorely missed by all the many people whose lives she touched in so many ways. Whether a stranger in a grocery store line, a child in her care, a student, co-worker or one of the many to call her friend – Karen shared of herself generously and openly and leaves behind a legacy of love. Visitation will be held at the OSHAWA FUNERAL HOME, 847 King Street West (905-721-1234) on Thursday, February 8th from 6 – 8 p.m. and Friday, February 9th from 2 – 4 and 6 – 8 p.m. Funeral Service will be held in the Chapel on Saturday, February 10th at 11:00 a.m. Cremation. Memorial donations to Camp Oochigeas would be appreciated. Because Karen loved children, please feel free to include your children for her visitation and or funeral. Online condolences may be made at


  • Visitation

    Thursday, 8 February , 2018

  • Visitation

    Friday, 9 February , 2018

  • Visitation

    Friday, 9 February , 2018

  • Funeral Service

    Saturday, 10 February , 2018


Karen LeBel

have a memory or condolence to add?


13 June 2019

Karen and I were penpals for many ,many years during our teens and early 20's. We lost touch around 1980 and I have often wondered how she was in the intervening years.
I was so very sorry to hear of her passing as I searched to reconnect after all these years, having come across one of our letters from 1979 while 'downsizing' and clearing out boxes of momentos.
Please know that I have thought of her often during the years and she truly was a good friend.
Deborah Cerasia nee Neveaux

Tim Sadler

10 February 2018

I really have no words right now to say for such a nice, caring, very welcoming lady. She will be greatly missed. Take care of yourselves Ron and family. My thoughts are with you at this sad time.

Laura Law

10 February 2018

Was so sad and surprised to read of Karen's passing. I knew Karen from the trailer park and her grandsons and my grandson were inseparable. When I introduced Karen to my step sister she was in awe that how Karen was a spitting image of her mother. I could talk to Karen about anything. This is a huge loss to everyone. RIP Karen

Bev & Marg Linton

9 February 2018

So sorry to hear of your loss. Praying for peace for the family. Bev & Marg Linton (friends of John & Joyce from Cobourg)

Shelley/Rick Nurse

9 February 2018

Ron and family our thoughts and prayers go out to you all in the sudden loss of a great wife, mom and grandma. We live next door and will miss our little chats with Karen showing off her grandchildren. May your friends and family give you the strength to get through this difficult time. Your now have an angel above looking down and protecting you.

Raseeka Rahumathulla

8 February 2018

Shannon, Steve and kids,
Your mother (grandma) was fun, strong and an integral part of your life. She leaves behind a great legacy and through you she'll always live strong.

Luc Bouchard

7 February 2018

I am very sorry for your loss. My thoughts and prayers are with the family during this difficult time.

Lisa Rahn

7 February 2018

Shannon - There are no words to express how sorry I am for your loss. The obituary is a beautiful testament to an even more beautiful and spirited woman. I wish I had met her. I am thinking about you, Bailey, Caleb, and Ellie. I wish Ellie had the chance to know her grandmother for longer. Your mother will live for Ellie in the stories that you share. Hugs to you and to your family.

Khalid Lodin

7 February 2018

Growing up I loved staying over at Shane's house where Karen would bake for us as we stayed up all night playing video games and causing mischief. She had a doors open policy and loved having us around. Our hearts hurt as she had such a lasting impact on all of us. I'm so deeply sorry for your loss.

David and Maxine Mansfield

7 February 2018

We are so sorry for the loss of your wife, mother, grandmother and sister. I went to school, church and youth group when we were children and Karen has always been remembered. We will keep the family in our prayers.

From the Family