Karen L. Crawford, 76, died Feb. 20, 2020 at her home in Belmond. Services were held Feb. 24 at the Belmond United Methodist Church. Burial was in the Belmond Cemetery.
Karen Lynn Watkins, daughter of Harold and Viola (Vestweber) Watkins, was born Aug. 20, 1943 at the Belmond Hospital. As a young child she moved with her family to Lime Springs where Harold and Viola farmed and began raising Karen and her sister Carol.
Karen started her education in country school. The family returned to the Belmond area, and Karen graduated from Belmond High School in 1961.
She married Allen Meints on Sept. 10, 1961. They were blessed with sons Rodney and Darin. The couple lived in Belmond, divorcing in 1986.
Karen married David W. Crawford at the Little Brown Church in Nashua on July 3, 1988. They honeymooned in Minnesota and had a mutual love for the outdoors. Their families shared adventures and memories at their permanent campsites on German Lake in Minnesota and at Rocky Creek Campground in Crystal Lake. Karen loved to fish and landed a few trophies of her own. Following a day on the water it was back to the campsite for one of “Grandma Karen's Fires”.
Karen was employed by Bob Cooke at Super America in Belmond, and later was assistant manager. She worked at Eaton, was a cook at the school, Belmond Hospital, and in the mapping division of Farm & Home Publishing. She supervised a bean walking crew for a number of years, and operated a craft and woodworking shop out of her home. She was very creative and enjoyed handcrafting many one-of-a-kind items. She made clothes for her grandkids, Indian costumes for family members for “the girls" camping excursions, and log cabins for her pet raccoons Reggie and Ringo.
Karen had a lifelong love of animals, especially the companionship of her dogs. She relished any opportunity to attend her grandchildren and great grandchildren's activities. In her earlier years she was a Cub Scout leader for Rodney and Darin. She had been very active at St. John Lutheran Church, serving on the church council and teaching Sunday School for many years. In recent times she enjoyed her church family at the Belmond UCCC where she was active in various ways. She also was an avid Iowa Hawkeye and Green Bay Packers fan.
Those who had the opportunity to cross in her footsteps will reflect on Karen’s many defining characteristics, including being a bit cantankerous, a straight shooter, forthright in her ways, and full of boundless devotion and love for her family.
Karen was preceded in death by her parents; husband David; grandson Benjamin Meints; and brother-in-law Alvie Smith.
Her memory will burn brightly in the hearts and minds of her sons Rodney (Lisa) Meints of Belmond and Darin (Lori) Meinta of Goodell; step-children Jeffrey (Lona) Crawford of Belmond, Marc (Caro- lyn) Crawford of Janesville, MN, Matthew (Brandy) Crawford of Belmond and Ann Campbell of Norwalk; sister Carol Smith of Belmond; grandchildren Merissa (BJ) Wagner, Austin (Wendy) Meints, Taylor and Nicholas Meints, Jess Meints and Stephanie (Justin) Fournier; step-grandchildren Madison, Abbigail and Aliviah Crawford, Lauren and Drew Crawford, Carson Crawford and Jackson Campbell; great grandson Liam Fournier; and David's siblings George Jr. (Pat) Crawford of Milton and Jon (Diane) Crawford of Belmond and their families.