I am stunned and saddened by Karen’s passing, (aka, KK, Kloss, Dreaded, DKF). I had not talked with her since we did dinner the night after her retirement in 2008 so did not know about her illness.
I first met Kloss (as her softball friends called her) at OAPSE where we worked together in the late ‘70s. Within a short time, I learned what a very bright and witty person she was who was devoted to her work and to our members and their well being. That passion for members and retirees continued at SERS. Although I only worked with Karen for two years, our friendship continued as we played softball together for many years (she pitched, I caught), and golfed in the summers at Hillcrest golf course in Johnstown. When Kloss gave the “dreaded” face to batters (as she dubbed it), they didn’t stand a chance! We had the best pitcher in the league.
Our little knot of friends spent so many fun times at Karen’s house near Otterbein – in the summer it was hours of badminton matches, and in the winter or inclement weather, it was marathon rounds of Tripoly, cards, board games and movie watching. Her beloved cat always nearby. We loved going to Kloss’s. She refused to organize or call anyone – she always said “if you can get people together, just let me know when and I’ll be ready.” Those were great times. When I saw her in ’08, she was looking forward to having the time to pursue her travels and talks and writings about the Civil War. She proudly showed me some of her published work. I am so sad that she had such a short time to fully enjoy that passion. I am so pleased by all of the comments here – she was loved by so many friends and co-workers who saw past that “crusty” exterior as many have described, to find the real Kloss – kind, smart, fun, and passionate about her work, her brother and his family, and her hobbies. She loved Jeff. You will be so missed, KK. My deepest sympathies to Jeff, Ruby and family.