ANTWERP -- Karen Sue Ross Grabianowski passed from this earthly life to heavenly glory on March 19, 2013, following a 24-year battle with cancer.
Karen was born in Lima, Ohio, on October 13, 1944, to Betty Ilena Newton and Marvin Earl Ross. On August 9, 1969, Karen married the love of her life, Ronald Emil Grabianowski, at St. Mary's Catholic Church, Antwerp, Ohio.
Karen will be sadly missed by her husband, Ron; daughter, Jen Eve (Jeremy) Strassell of Columbus, Ohio; and son, Aaron Ross Grabianowski of West Carrollton City, Ohio. Karen is survived by siblings, Janet Elaine (David) Johnson, Marvin (Betty) Ross, Ronald (Linda) Ross and Joseph (Jong) Green. Also surviving are many loving cousins, nieces and nephews.
Karen was preceded in death by her parents; brother, Bruce; and grandparents, Morven Asa and Bertha Rosetta (Koehler) Newton and Orval Fredrick and Esther Iona (Snyder) Ross.
Karen was a graduate of Columbus Grove High School, after which she attended the Ohio State University where she earned her B.S. degree in elementary education. She continued graduate studies at Indiana/Purdue University, Fort Wayne, Ind. Karen began her teaching career at Antwerp Local Schools, teaching second grade and kindergarten. She substituted for many years in Paulding County schools, had worked in human resources at Sears TeleCatalog Co. in Fort Wayne, was the second Antwerp Branch Library manager (where she had managed the library's move to their new building) and she had worked for the county election board at Carryall Township for many years.
Karen served as an American Cancer Society Reach to Recovery volunteer, had been an active 4-H advisor, a member of the National Education Association, Ohio Education Association, Ohio Retired Teachers Association (ORTA) and the Paulding Retired Teachers Association (PACRTA). For many years, Karen was involved in horse rescue with the organization, Friends of Barbaro. Over the years, she believed that giving names online to the thousands of horses up for auction or possible slaughter would help to save their lives. Karen authored and illustrated several children's books, as well as her autobiography. She loved weaving baskets, reupholstering furniture and gardening.
Visitation will be from 2-4 and 6-7:30 p.m. Friday at Hartman Sons Funeral Home, 10879 Ohio 12 West, Columbus Grove, Ohio 45830. Funeral services will be held Friday evening, immediately following the visitation, beginning at 7:30 p.m. Family and friends are invited back to the funeral home at 10:30 a.m. Saturday, where there will be a brief prayer, followed by the processional to Woodlawn Cemetery, Lima, where the committal service and burial next to her parents will be held.
In lieu of flowers, the family appreciates contributions to a memorial scholarship in Karen's name to students of Paulding County schools. Contact information or memorials may be sent to scholarship administrator: Mr. Jeremy Strassell, PNC Bank, 2346 Turtle Creek Drive, Columbus, Ohio 43235. The annual scholarship recipients will be selected by members of PACRTA. Condolences may be expressed at www.hartmansonsfuneralhome.com.