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Obituaries

On Friday, November 10, Karen Sue VanBuren, passed away at her home near Woodland, Michigan. She was surrounded by her beloved husband, family and dear friends. Although the cancer she had so bravely fought for over 20 years ravaged her body, it was never able to shake her faith in her savior the Lord Jesus Christ, rob her of being a loving wife, mother, sister and friend, or steal her ability to be compassionate, caring and giving, or of loving the life she was given. In the end, she was victorious.

 

Karen was born in Battle Creek, Michigan, in 1956 to Max and Noralee Bracy. She graduated from Maple Valley High School, in Vermontville, Michigan in 1974 and went on to get an Associates Degree and serve in the Barry County District court for more than two decades. Due to her illness, she retired in 2012. She attended the Hastings Free Methodist Church for many years. If one were to ask her about her biggest accomplishment, she would undoubtedly reply, “Becoming a student, follower and lover of the Lord.”

 

On May 18, 2007, she married Kent VanBuren. Together, they built a home and a life full of the God-given blessings of family, and friends. Known for her compassionate and generous nature, Karen’s smile and her ability to say or write kind words of encouragement are legend. Even during the challenging times of chemo-therapy treatments, she never lost her optimism, incredible wit or sense of humor. She enjoyed a good meal, particularly one that included fish caught and prepared by Kent, boat rides, seeing the sun at the beginning and end of the day, a good bonfire, stars in the sky, and sharing a good glass of wine, with the love of her life, Kent.

 

She was preceded in death by her father and mother, Max and Noralee (Gillons) Bracy, Hastings, Michigan, her Husband Joseph K. Daniel, Hastings, Michigan and nephew Joseph Barton Bracy, Naples, Florida.

 

She is survived by her husband Kent VanBuren, Woodland, Michigan; stepson Alex VanBuren his wife Heather and children Ty and Kaile, Hastings, Michigan; stepson Christopher, his wife Mallory, Munising, Michigan; brother Bart, wife Sue (Satterelee) and their sons Luke and Wade, Orlando, Florida; sister Christine (Fowler) Stone, Essexville, Michigan; her son Austin Curtis, Tampa, Florida, and daughter Jordan (Curtis) Gonzales and husband Edward Gonzales and their children, Audrey and Edward Jr., Vina del Mar, Chile.

 

A memorial service will be held at 11:00 a.m. on November the 18, 2017, at the Hastings Free Methodist Church, with visitation one hour prior. Due to likelihood of inclement weather, internment at the Woodland Cemetery will be postponed until April 21, 2018.

 

In lieu of flowers the family encourages donations to the VanAndel Institute, 333 Bostwick Avenue, NE, Grand Rapids, MI 49503 or Great Lakes Hospice. Services provided by Girrbach Funeral Home, Hastings, Michigan. 

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