FAIRFAX, Va. - Karen Jean Kraft Buck of Fairfax, Va., passed away on Wednesday, November 20, 2013, from unexpected complications following recent surgery.
Karen was the daughter of Wendell and Jean (Hebbard) Kraft and grew up in Calumet where she was active in the Calumet High School band, and developed a love of the theater while ushering as a volunteer at the Calumet Opera House. After high school Karen attended Michigan Technological University where she graduated with majors in Biology and Medical Technology. She and her husband Art met in college and were married the day before they graduated, in 1971. Later that year they moved to Waukegan, Ill. and after a brief time working as a chemist at a paint factory, she took a job as a Biologist at the Naval Dental Research Institute. After several years she changed career fields to begin work as a computer programmer, a systems analyst, and eventually a program manager for a variety of federal agencies, primarily the Navy. Along the way they moved from Waukegan to Libertyville, Ill. and then, in 1989, to Fairfax, Virginia. Karen retired from her federal career in 2005. Life after retirement included volunteer work, travel to visit children and friends, and many activities with her church (Epiphany Episcopal).
Karen is survived by her loving husband, Art; children, Cara Matthews (husband John and children John, Jr. and Chelsea) and Marie Buck.
During the last several years Karen had numerous medical challenges, but she met them all with a determination to recover and a will to overcome adversity. Karen's funeral service was held at Epiphany Episcopal Church in Oak Hill, Va. Her family, her church family, and the many friends she has made throughout her life will miss her humor and her enthusiasm.