Karen Michelle Barse: July 24, 1960 – March 5, 2022
Karen Barse age 61, of Gillette, WY passed away March 5, 2022 at Campbell County Memorial Hospital. Karen Michelle Barse was brought into this world with a flourish on July 24, 1960, in Roberts County, South Dakota.
Born to Carlton and Molly Barse, it was recognized immediately that she was something special. A happy baby that grew to a cheerful, sometimes mischievous child, surrounded by her 7 admiring siblings. An adventuring spirit that led to more than a couple of search expeditions ending with Karen, of course, meeting new friends.
“Boozy” had a magnetism that drew people in which was good since she was ready with a hug within seconds of meeting you. She enjoyed being around people and was always ready to laugh with you. She played on a basketball team, was a darn good bowler and even competed in the Special Olympics. A card shark, Connect 4 expert and a snack connoisseur ensured that she was the BEST choice for a sleepover.
As an avid wrestling fan, she was a pro at putting the “SMACKDOWN” to anyone who fancied himself a worthy opponent. She might have been the only person who looked forward to weekends being over. After all, that meant Monday WWE Raw would be on TV. Karen loved music and enjoyed singing along with her girls Crystal Gayle, Tanya Tucker, Loretta Lynn, and many others.
She also was an enthusiastic dancer, ever ready to show off her signature moves. Her taste in music, TV, and movies had a common theme: strong ladies. “Xena”, “Cagney & Lacey” and “Wonder Woman” were personal friends of hers and she was there with them to do her part for women’s empowerment! She was our sister, our cousin, and our auntie but more than anything she was our buddy. A most loyal friend that was always on your side. Of all the things she loved, puppies and babies were amongst her favorites. When a new baby was put in her eager arms, her smile filled the entire room.
She beamed with immediate love and pride for each and every one of the numerous that have been born into this immense family. As we each got older, Karen stayed the same sweet age. Always there to entertain the next generation growing up. And growing up around her we learned patience and acceptance that extended to other parts of our lives. “Shelly” had a knack for dates.
She knew nearly everyone’s birthday and how they were related to one another. A thoughtful gift-giver who loved to PARTY!! Her rendition of “Happy Birthday” was the icing on the cake…which she was also a big fan of. A gracious gift receiver. Never has there been someone more fun to buy for and she appreciated everything that was given to her, except tools. Karen was generous with her prayers. When she would say “I pray for you” it meant more because there was never a doubt in her mind that her prayers were heard. And of course, they were because gifts like Karen are the closest, we will get to God here on earth. She was a special blessing, a rare angel sent from above to be a soft spot in a harsh world. With her extra chromosome came extra humanity.
Unwavering faith, unending wonder, and unconditional love. A humble presence in our lives to teach us grace and gratitude. To remind us to take joy in simple things and love one another. She was a warrior that beat the odds time and again. Baffling medical staff for years, she fought hard. We got to have Karen here with us much longer than expected but it still wasn’t long enough. She returned to the loving arms of Grandma, Grandpa, and her good friend Jesus early morning March 5th. Though these days will seem dimmer without her, the precious light that she carried will shine in our hearts forever. Gone from her wobbly little body, to live strong and perfect forever.
Only good memories, we are the lucky ones to have known her. A real live angel, too pure for this world, and our lives are better for it.
Karen was preceded in death by her parents, Carlton Barse Sr. and Molly Barse as well as her brother Jimmy Stanton. She is survived by her brother Carlton Barse Jr. (Glenda) of Waubay, SD; her sister Carole (Jim) Peterson, whom she lived with and cared for her for the past several years; her sister Sherry (Doug) Conklin of Watertown SD; her brother Darrell (Jackie) Barse of Spearfish, SD; her brother Robert Barse of Sisseton, SD; and her brother Carmen (Sue) Barse of Santa Maria, CA; and numerous nieces and nephews (nephtudes).
Memorials and condolences may be sent in care of Gillette Memorial Chapel 210 West 5th Street, Gillette, WY 82716. Condolences may also be expressed at www.gillettememorialchapel.com
Some obituaries have been republished with permission from Gillette Memorial Chapel.