×

Culley's MeadowWood Funeral Home

1737 Riggins Road, Tallahassee, FL

OBITUARY

Karen Sue Elyea

October 14, 1943November 2, 2013
Play Tribute Movie

Karen Sue (Yates) Elyea was born on October 14, 1943 in Springfield, MO to George and Lorene Yates. She lived in Springfield from birth through her grade school years. Most significantly for her, her grade school education was at Elfindale Academy, a Catholic school with nuns as her teachers. While she was not Catholic, she was clearly influenced by the caring and serving attitude of the nuns. Their teaching and example shaped her approach to life! Her family moved to Trenton, Mo. as she started Junior High and she lived there through high school. She worked at the Plaza Movie Theatre after school and met Dave Elyea who was a bell hop in the Plaza Hotel located in the same building. Their friendship resulted in Karen writing Dave a letter while he was attending KU and inviting him to be her date for the girl’s athletic association Christmas dance. Their friendship quickly became a romantic relationship and they were married two years later on August 4, 1962. Dave still had three years of college remaining and Karen worked for the university full time to provide majority support for the family. The family became three when Steve was born a year after their marriage. When Dave graduated in 1965, Karen was presented with a PHT (putting hubby through) certificate which she prized as much as he prized his diploma! Following graduation, Dave accepted a position with Macy’s in Kansas City and Karen worked for the J.C. Nichol’s company in their offices. They moved to Topeka, KS after Dave completed training. During their time in Topeka, Debbie was born in 1967 completing the family. When they moved back to Overland Park, Ks two years later, Karen started a licensed day care in their home to be able to stay home with Debbie and Steve while still helping with family income. In 1972, Dave accepted a store manager position with Parisians in Vestavia Hills, AL and Karen accepted a position with BT&T bank as a loan administrative assistant. Dave was transferred to Montgomery, AL in 1977 and Karen accepted an administrative position at Frazer Memorial United Methodist Church working for the Minister of Evangelism. She was later promoted to office manager, the position she held until moving to Tallahassee, FL in 1981. Dave opened his first Chick-fil-A restaurant in Tallahassee Mall and Karen was his assistant manager in charge of the kitchen. She later worked briefly for the mall management company, and then resumed her banking career at Barnett Bank as a loan officer’s administrative assistant. Karen and Dave moved to Orlando in 1986 where Dave opened another Chick-fil-A restaurant and Karen transferred to Barnett Bank of Central Florida. She worked for Barnett in several capacities and eventually became the Executive Assistant to the market president. In this capacity, she served a total of seven presidents and worked for three different banking companies as Barnett was merged with Nation’s Bank and then Nation’s Bank merged with Bank of America. Prior to her working for the seventh president Karen retired in the spring of 2001. In the fall of 2001, Bank of America promoted a new market president for whom Karen had worked years earlier. He called her to see if she would consider coming out of retirement at the moment in time where she was feeling bored! She gratefully accepted and did not retire for good until November of 2007. Dave retired shortly after in February of 2008 and they begin living a retired life of leisure and travel! During the next several years they enjoyed a number of cruises, including Alaska, the Panama Canal, and two transatlantic cruises ending in Rome, Italy. They were also able to spend most of the summers in their condo in Boone, NC. Karen was diagnosed in December, 2010 with Multiple Myeloma, a treatable but incurable cancer. She spent nearly 50 days in the hospital in 2011 with one of the hospitalizations for a bone marrow transplant. Following the transplant the cancer was in remission and she was able to cruise and travel again! She remained in good health until July of 2013 when her cancer became active again. The treatment that was started at that time was partially successful, but she developed several other health issues from which she ultimately succumbed on November 2, 2013 in Tallahassee, FL. She was preceded in death by her parents, George and Lorene Yates, her brother Larry Yates, and sister Gloria Cowden. Throughout her life, Karen loved and cared for all of the people with whom she came in contact. She served every church where she was a member, and freely gave of her time and talents. She often could be found in the church kitchens preparing and serving food, or cleaning and organizing! She worked on stewardship drives, served on numerous committees, and was often called upon to utilize her office administrative abilities. She was usually involved in fellowship events and was often called the “hostess with the mostess”! Her life was always centered on her family, who learned to love and care for others by her example. She took them to church, made certain that they were involved in church activities, and led them to develop a personal relationship with Jesus the Christ. She is survived by her loving husband Dave, son Steve (Janice) Elyea with granddaughters Rachel and Rebecca, as well as daughter Debbie (David) Crow with grandchildren Amy, Joshua and Michael.

Services

  • Visitation Wednesday, November 6, 2013
  • Interment Thursday, November 7, 2013
  • Celebration of Life Thursday, November 7, 2013
  • Reception Thursday, November 7, 2013

Memories

Karen Sue Elyea

have a memory or condolence to add?

ADD A MEMORY

November 15, 2013

I was so sorry to hear about your mom passing. A friend at work told me about her. I know she will be missed by many. Love and prayers for your family. Feddie Granger

November 7, 2013

Although I worked with Karen briefly at the bank, she was a kind and caring person to every one she knew. She is home with the Lord now with no more suffering or pain. God Bless the family during this very difficult time. Susan Hawk (Kissimmee)

Patty Moore

November 7, 2013

I was privileged to have worked with Karen at Bank of America for 6 years. Not only was Karen my co-worker, she was also my friend! I enjoyed working with Karen and going out to lunch on many occasions where we would spend most of our time sharing about our families. Karen was a true professional--always giving 100% to whatever she did! And she always put others first!

James Granger

November 6, 2013

Beautiful pictures of Ms.Elyea and testimony of her love for God, her family and others. May God continue to comfort and bless you.
From a member of the very first
Chick-fil-a crew in Tallahassee.

November 6, 2013

Dave, Steve, Janice-She had to be a very remarkable woman to have raised a son like you, Steve! Janice, our hearts and prayers go out to all of you on this very sad day! We will be praying for you. With sympathy, Ginger Chappell and Janet and Martin Shipman and family. God bless you all.

Carolyn Fulton

November 6, 2013

I worked for Dave at Chick-Fil-a in the Florida Mall from 87-90. When times were tough, they took me in and gave me a bed to sleep in. Karen was a wonderful woman and will never be forgotten. Much love to all during this very difficult time!

Hop0e Higgins

November 6, 2013

Karen was indeed a remarkable woman and full of love and compassion ... we are keeping you in our prayers and thoughts...
With sincere sympathy...John and Hope Higgins

November 6, 2013

Dear Dave, We are sorry for your loss. Carol and Phillip Thomas, Trenton, MO

The Jacobs Family

November 6, 2013

Debbie, Dave, Steve and all,

What we all wish for are ways to try and offer some sense of comfort and support for you in this difficult time. Indeed, there are really no words we can offer which can truly assuage the profound sense of sadness and loss in your hearts and minds at Karen's passing. Hopefully the best way we can help you through this period of darkness is to remind you of the tremendous impact a life as wonderful and bright as Karen's has had on the world in which we live. She certainly fostered a loving, caring family of great people, she had many friends and impacted even more lives than we can possibly count with her simple kindness and caring for all people. Indeed in times of bereavement we humans all try coping with our grief and anguish and sometimes we can (briefly) forget to celebrate the sheer blessing of a life well lived. I hope as time and God will help heal the wounds which are so fresh right now, you can find some joy and peace in knowing Karen lived a life that made a difference and made the world we still inhabit, a better place for it. Please accept our heartfelt condolences on your loss and know our thoughts and prayers are with you.

Marilyn Ripple

November 5, 2013

Dave what a beautiful tribute to your wife. I remember from high school that she always had that beautiful smile and kind words. I know God will be with you and your children and comfort you in your sorrow.

FROM THE FAMILY
FROM THE FAMILY
FROM THE FAMILY
FROM THE FAMILY
FROM THE FAMILY
FROM THE FAMILY
FROM THE FAMILY
FROM THE FAMILY
FROM THE FAMILY
FROM THE FAMILY