Marshall-Donnelly-Combs Funeral Home

201 25th Ave North, Nashville, TN


Sylvia Karnowsky

June 26, 1935February 6, 2020

Sylvia Karnowsky was born on June 26, 1935 and passed away on February 6, 2020.


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Sylvia Karnowsky

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Estie Harris

February 21, 2020

I moved to the duplex next door to Sylvia in the late 1980’s and thus began a friendship that has lasted for so many years. Her back yard was a marvel of twisted branches and shady spots. And when she moved to Woodmont, her rose garden was unrivaled.

Sylvia and I shared a love of animals, and she helped me capture my first two kittens from a stray cat that took up residence clearly identifying us as easy targets.

She cared for my animals when I traveled and eventually adopted a cat of her own.

We ate pink horseradish at times and enjoyed the occasional glass of wine. We shared sweets and stories and laughed together. She loved her coffee and would buy it by the gross at time it seemed.

When we both moved from the duplex, we didn’t see each other as much but I feel a great loss at her passing. I know she had been in poor health, but driving by her house always brought memories and smiles. Especially that plant near the street that she was going to take out but then it bloomed, and Sylvia was a sucker for anything that bloomed.

Rest In Peace, dear Sylvia, you will be truly missed

Don Redmon

February 20, 2020

I had Miss Karnowsky for AP History in 1967. She was witty, bright and challenged us all to actually think. One of the best teachers I ever had including the ones I had at Vanderbilt. Her expectations were high but her love was genuine. I will never forget her.

ReGina Newkirk

February 18, 2020

I don't have words for the impact Ms. Karnowsky had on my life. She was so much more than a teacher for me. She was a lifeline at Overton, being the only one to call me to the carpet while challenging me to be better. Her class was the first time I genuinely struggled academically, and she stayed with me after school to show me how to properly take notes and study. I got a B on that test, and to this day, it's the proudest I have ever been of a grade. Thirty years later, I still have that test (typed, on legal size paper). Ms. K was hands down the best teacher I ever had, and she had the greatest impact on my life and on me. And I know I'm not the only one. The world is definitely a sadder place without the impact she was able to make on so many people. Ms. K, you are and will be dearly missed.

Bobby Mason

February 18, 2020

Mrs. Karnowsky was a wonderful teacher & inspired her students to respect others! I will never forget her talking about her parents!!!


February 18, 2020

Miss Karnowsky was the teacher who always made me want to be better. She taught, not only history, but a true respect for humanity, as evidenced in her anguish over the plight of the American Indians.
Thinking that I was going to hate American History, I elected to take the class in summer school so that it would be over quickly. Miss Karnowsky, who had been my home room teacher before, taught the class that summer and certainly changed my mind. She gave me a love and passion for history for which I am forever grateful. I can truly say that she was a mentor and a friend and I miss her. May she rest in peace.

Jacky Winters

February 18, 2020

In the fall of 1979, I asked 'Miss K' to recommend a class to fill my schedule. She said I needed to go see 'Miss White' and sign up for Forensics, whatever the heck THAT was. So I did. And thus, unknowingly, 'Miss K' forever and most fortunately altered the timeline of my life. So much of everything since flowed from the life lessons learned from the teachers at Overton. I will always be grateful to them. Rest in Peace Miss K.

L Van Buren

February 18, 2020

If folks reading this know the story of Fidler on the Roof and the eviction of Jews from Russia in the early 1900s, then you will have a sense of the history from which Ms. Karnowsky's family came. I grew up in the era of the cold war and her knowledge of European history is what influenced me most in wanting to find a path toward peace. I went on to study Russian history, learned to speak Russian, and sought to understand a place so foreign and removed. It didn't help that our civics course immersed us in cold war propaganda at that time. Ms. Karnowsky helped us understand the ebb and flow of history and how important it is to see the good (and the humorous) in humanity.

Pamela Zohar

February 18, 2020

I am sad.
She was one of the best teachers I ever had - and that is saying something, because I spent nearly ten years in colleges and graduate schools, after Overton, and I had some very fine teachers.
But few of them had quite as much impact as Miss Karnowsky.
A RARE few. She had more impact on me than she could have known.
She was scary smart, and unbelievably knowledgeable, and I am probably not the only one to remember when - to remember when we were studying the Labor Movement - and organized our class into a union and staged a lockout. Or to remember her coffee requirements. Or to remember her fiendish multipage exams. She gave me a 98 once (ONCE) and wrote on it - 'you can do better!' It is 50 years later, and I am still proud of that grade - because I EARNED it.
She always inspired me to do better, go further, learn more.
American History, AP - 11th grade. Government - 12th grade.

Lynda Cobb

February 18, 2020

Miss Karnowsky was a fabulous teacher. She was very tough, but fair. I remember her always having beautiful nails, a specific pendant around her neck, a button up blouse, a cardigan (even in the heat), and a sharp wit that would wither anyone that disrupted her class. I am sad to hear of her passing. Since her class, I have always had her whispering in my ear...”Push yourself, try harder, be more... You are capable and I expect it from you.” Thank-you! My condolences to her friends and family. May she Rest In Peace. 🌹

steve pillow

February 18, 2020

oh my.....I have soo many memories of Miss Karnowsky. I had her for several history classes at Overton and my last one my senior year, the last semester and lets just say history and @ 7am was an issue for me that senior year. LOL.....she saw something in me and I did pass her class after her tutorage and encouragement and lots of help.....I will never forget her for her help and compassion in helping me graduate that year...she was very special....I next saw her a coupe of years later at my sisters graduation and she was Senior Class sponsor as usual but was more interested in what I had been up to. I was proud to tell her I had since graduated and was working at a local bank. Long story short but I have been working @ Vanderbilt for over 30years now and I owe a lot of that to her and her compassion she had for a kid trying to graduate on a spring day back in 1978....Thanks Miss Karnowsky