Karen Sue James, a woman of compassion and kindness left this earth to enter eternal life on September 27, 2021, at the age of 58. Karen grew up in the Longview-Kelso, Washington area; graduating high school in 1981 from Mark Morris High School. She attended and graduated from Warner Pacific College in 1987, with an elementary education degree. She later received her Masters in Education. She spent her career teaching in her hometown. She began substituting in the late 80’s for both the Longview and Kelso School Districts. In 1992 she began teaching at Columbia Heights Christian Academy and continued there until 1998. She returned to Kelso School District as a substitute. In September 1999, Karen began working at Beacon Hill Elementary and moved to Barnes Elementary in 2001 where she remained for the next 20 years. She taught every grade from Kindergarten to 6th grade, with each one becoming her “favorite”. She undertook every new assignment with a positive attitude and added to her skill set.
Karen enjoyed many simple things in life: relationship with Jesus, studying God’s word, Disney, Christmas, Razor clams and all things seafood, Kerby’s Fish House, the beach, reading, tie dye, Bunko, cats, iced tea, cooking, snow/snowmen and time with family and friends. Her great love of singing included performing with the Lower Columbia Singers as well as choir at church.
She was very involved in Abundant life Church of the Nazarene, serving on several boards and volunteering. She was authentic in her worship, shared love unconditionally, was quick to welcome others, and a devoted, peaceful Prayer Warrior. She was committed to improving lives and extending hope. This can be seen by her involvement and support for children in foster care.
Karen is preceded in death by: her parents Lawrence Delmar James and Arliss Wilberta James, her brother Steven David James and her beloved cats Jack and Belle. She is survived by niece Whitney and Chuck Wynn; great niece Alonah; great nephew Wessex; niece Drew and Matthew Hoven; great niece Emery; “Unky” Vern and aunt Sharon Klump; cousins Julie and John; aunt Helen and Uncle Hal Buck; cousins Andy, Holly, Heidi and Cyndi; many extended cousins remember her with great affection; “daughter" and son in law Skyler and Paul Kayser; grandchildren Audrey, Janae, Evelyn and Josiah. So many friends, coworkers, students and church members became her family. Her beloved cat Stitch will also miss her.
A Celebration of Life will be held Saturday, October 30, 2021, 1pm at Kelso High School. Graveside services for family and close friends.
In lieu of flowers, Karen James memorial account at Fibre Federal Credit Union has been set up for final expenses. Any remaining funds will be given to charities of her prior involvement.