Published 11:40 am Wednesday, June 14, 2023
Aug. 7, 1944-June 11, 2023
Karen Lee Byers, 78, of Portage, MI, formerly of Dowagiac, Michigan and Davenport, Iowa, passed away peacefully on June 11, 2023, at Rose Arbor Hospice in Kalamazoo, Michigan after a lengthy illness.
She was born on Aug. 7, 1944, in Dallas, Texas, the daughter of William T. and Naida (Palmer) Byers. Karen was a 1963 graduate of Dowagiac Union High School and also attended Ferris State College. Karen, prior to retiring and moving to Portage, MI held several positions in Davenport, Iowa. The most recent at Hy-Vee. She also held positions as a district manager for Encyclopedia Britannica, Inc and as a buyer for Carson Perry Scott in Chicago, IL. She also had a previous position as a director of 10 stores at Von Maur in Davenport, Iowa.
Karen’s greatest legacy was her kindness. She never met a person she did not like. She was known for striking up conversations with everyone. Karen really enjoyed the sun and beaches as a favorite past time and loved music, birds, gardening and flowers. She was also was an avid power ball and mega million weekly ticket holder. If you knew her you knew that you would get asked if you bought your tickets and “It only takes one.” During her time in Portage, MI, Karen was able to connect with several of her childhood friends including Sue Laymon McCormick and Susan Rice. Several stories were shared of all the escapades they had during their youth on Dewey Lake and around Dowagiac. Many of these stories were shared at Caruso’s with her friends. Karen spent a lot of time in the most recent past at the Bronson infusion clinic. She adored the staff there and their kindness. Karen requested that anyone that is able to donate blood to please do so in lieu of flowers. Karen had wonderful care at Centrica Rose Arbor Hospice, formerly Hospice Care of Southwest Michigan. Her family wishes to express a sincere thank you for the wonderful care and kindness she received.
Surviving are her best friend Pat Dooley of Windcrest, Texas; sister, Patricia (Byers) Laylin of Sister Lakes Michigan; nine nieces and nephews whom she dearly loved and adored, Lori Prince of Portage, MI, Kathy (David) Stein of Norfolk, VA, Lisa Prince of Holland, MI, Scott (Gina) Prince of Holland, MI, Brad (Leslie) Prince of Murrayville, GA, Susie (Larry) Light of Cassopolis, MI, Fred (Carla) Laylin of Dowagiac, MI, Sheryl (Todd) Bounds of Dowagiac, MI, and Chris (Tom) Matthews of Dowagiac, MI; and many great-nieces and nephews as well as several extended family members of Pat Dooley.
Preceding her in death were her parents, William and Naida Byers of Sister Lakes, MI and Judith (Byers) Prince of Portage, MI.
Private family interment will be in Riverside Cemetery, Dowagiac. Memorial contributions in Karen’s name may be directed to Centrica Rose Arbor Hospice or American Red Cross. Arrangements were entrusted to Clark Chapel-Starks Family Funeral Homes, 405 Center Street, Dowagiac. Those wishing to share a memory of Karen online may do so at www.clarkch.com