Karen Ann Van Liew Holt

December 20, 1946October 10, 2020

Karen Ann Van Liew Holt completed her heavenly purpose on earth and left us to be with the angels on October 10th, 2020. She surely beamed her beautiful, sweet smile when she was greeted in heaven by her late husband, William, who has been patiently waiting for her embrace since March 26, 1992. She was a loving wife, sister, mother and noni (grandmother).

Karen and William are both survived by their 6 loving children William (Molly), Jennifer (Marc), Kristen (Chris), Allison (Josh), John Paul (Erin) and Michael. She is also survived by her 10 grandchildren (and counting) from her very fruitful marriage to Bill. Additionally, Karen is survived by her current husband Douglas and his two children, Bridget and Monica along with Bridget's two children. She is preceded by her stepson Jonas, who is surely showing off his amazing dance moves in heaven now that they are together.

Karen loved people and had a way of spreading her love for life like wildfire. Always searching for the joy in everything she did, Karen's infectious smile could be found at church, around the homes of her many children and grandchildren, visiting her youngest son in Maui, rooting for her Dallas Cowboys or USC Trojans, handing out loaves of her famous bread around the holidays or comfortably perched at a nearby video poker machine.

Karen devoted much of her life to her faith, church and Marriage Encounter with her husband Bill, helping others create the love that they embodied. Karen loved her calling to help anyone that needed her wisdom, encouragement or just to talk. No matter what she was doing, Karen gave all of herself, including the clothes off of her back in some cases.

When Bill passed, Karen was widowed with 6 children from 7 to 19 years old. With the help of the church community and her marriage to Doug a few years later, she gave her children everything they could have possibly needed and then some. Karen created a family dynamic to be marveled; complete with appreciation, positive communication, spiritual well-being and commitment that will live on for centuries to come. There has never been a mother more caring, tolerant, loving and patient as Karen Van Liew. She constantly gave her unconditional love to anyone who needed it and heaven certainly is a brighter, more joyous place today because she is there.

As Karen would say, "Life is too short to hold on to bad memories. Remember that and search for the joy." And on your journey in life, when you get the choice to sit out or dance, Karen hopes you dance.

Services will be held privately on October 29th and 30th with the family and close friends due to venue limitations. Celebration of life will be on October 30th with open house beginning at 2PM at 6115 West Hedgehog Place, Phoenix 85083.


No public services are scheduled at this time. Receive a notification when services are updated.


Karen Ann Van Liew Holt

have a memory or condolence to add?

Gloria Ybarra

October 26, 2020

I was truly fortunate to become acquainted with Karen soon after my oldest started at Brophy in 1996. Her beautiful smile and friendly manner warmly welcomed me to the BCP community. The great friendship that my second son had with Mike meant we had both Mike and JP at our house often and that kept us in contact with their wonderful Mom. I feel so very blessed to have known Karen; she was a breath of fresh air that brought laughter, fun and caring to all with whom she interacted. She will be so greatly missed but her beautiful spirit continues in the love she shares with her family. Mike and John Paul please know Perry and I hold you and your family in our prayers and always in our hearts.

Cameron Ayers

October 24, 2020

My days at Brophy were blessed by the friendship and love of Karen. She brought joy to my day and all who knew her. My love and prayers to all the family especially John Paul. Rest In Peace!

Diana Herman

October 23, 2020

Allison was one of my first-graders at SSJ when Bill got sick. My student's families took turns taking dinners to the Van Liew family. It was a tough year. At Bill's huge funeral I couldn't get over how many people adored this caring family. Then Doug Holt joined them. Doug Holt has a way of taking kids under his wing and guiding them. Doug and Karen together were quite a team. I know that Karen will always be watching over her family and gently nudging them to keep them safe. The Van Liew/Holt families have a very special guardian angel now!
Love, Diana Herman

Danielle Martinez

October 23, 2020

There's noone else in my life that I call "Aunt" that isn't a blood relative. Aunt Karen was always a ray of sunshine and pure love with an infectious laugh. She was my link to my wonderful upbringing surrounded by other Marriage Encounter families. When I hugged her, I felt my deceased parent's presence. It's hard to explain how that happened each time, but it was always there. She and Uncle Bill and their crazy kids that I adore immensely, will always be a part of my heart and soul. The Van Liew and Galano families are forever linked in God, in memories, in great food and in loud and boisterous joy. Rest in peace Aunt Karen. And know every time I hug your kids, I'll squeeze them extra hard for you. I love you always.

Robert Kelly

October 22, 2020

I taught Karen's children at St, Mary's High School. It was a great honor. Everyone please take care!

Julia Karn

October 22, 2020

Karen, you are truly one of the most beautiful and loving people we have ever known. Your kindness and smile brighten up every room. You handmade blanket to our son Hazen will be cherished and the laughs we've had will be remember forever. We are so blessed to have gotten to know you and the wonderful family you have created. I will definitely Dance Karen. Sending our love to you in heaven.

Mary Anne Lanoue

October 22, 2020

I will never forget my introduction to Casino Video Poker with Aunt Karen....she not only gave me luck on the machine she was there when her and I ended up the recipient of alot of quarters from a stranger. I will never forget how kind she was all the time.

L'Jeane Fairbourn

October 18, 2020

I am so sorry to learn of Karen's death. She was a breath of fresh air, with a positive attitude and amazing smile.

She was a forever care giver, a great wife, mother, and grandmother and friend.

Dynamite comes in small packages, and Karen was a great example of that. No task was too big, too difficult, for her to tackle.

She will be missed, but not forgotten.

Sympathies to her loving family, from the Fairbourn family.

May God bless you all in your time of sorrow and loss.

L'Jeane Fairbourn

Lorraine Lenkevich

October 16, 2020

This is very hard to write since Karen is of my generation and was a special friend since my teenage years. We shared memories from dating, marriage and early family years. After she and Bill moved to Phoenix, it became distant in space but still close. Luckily, we were family since her Bill was my brother. My only comfort is knowing Karen is with her Bill in heaven.

Diane Lanoue

October 15, 2020

My beautiful aunt. I’m not sure what I will do without my partner in crime, my gambling buddy, best friend, confident, I can go on n on. My life will never be the same. You were always my ray of sunshine on a cloudy day. You were an amazing example of the woman I strive to be. Forever in my heart. I love you💕😘


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