"This tribute was prepared by Bob and Peggy Hunt
for the December 21, 2008 Memorial Service in Washington, D. C."




In preparing and reviewing documentation for this tribute to Karen, we realized that notes from friends and family and acquaintances create a beautiful picture of who Karen Lee Hunt was; how she impacted the lives of others; and why her loving legacy will always live on in the hearts and minds of those who knew and loved her.


We, Karen’s family, always recognized the gentle, caring and loving nature of Karen  -- her sincerity, kindness, understanding and insight.  It was all of the little things that Karen stood for, and the little things that she shared of herself, that left such a huge impact on so many.  Each of us who knew and loved Karen is richer for it.  The light that shined in her has become a part of us.  Her warmth, caring, and love is exemplified in her actions and in what others said about her.


  • A young man’s school-days memory of Karen – and he wrote.  “I was a little chubby back in those days and nobody wanted to dance with me.  I couldn’t believe that Karen came over and chose me to be her square-dancing partner.  She could have chosen anyone.”
  • A neighborhood mother remembers that Karen would ask to play with her little boy when no one else would play with him.  Her child was handicapped with Cerebral Palsy.  The little boy’s mother was compelled to call my wife years later to make sure we knew about that, because she never could forget it.
  • When Karen’s best friend in high school had a serious eating disorder, Karen made the difficult choice to confront the girl’s parents although she knew her friend was dead set against it – and she also knew that the girl’s parents would not be easily convinced that their daughter had a serious problem.  Karen could not be at rest until she did what she felt she needed to do to help her friend.
  • During Karen’s early high school years Karen’s mother and I received a note from one of the vice principals of the school stating: “ Karen is truly a fine person, friendly, outgoing, and kind.  I know she will be very successful and happy.  Anyone who has the fine character that Karen has cannot miss in life.”  Later, in 1988 we received a note from that same vice principal who stated: “I remember her like yesterday, sitting in my office telling me about Syracuse University and her plans.  She was a beautiful, loving person who touched the lives of everyone she met in a positive way.”
  • Karen’s college sweetheart painted a portrait of Karen that he gave to our family.  He states in a note that accompanied the portrait:  “The feeling that Karen gave everyone will stay within us until our graves, but her beauty, as we perceived her, will change as the years progress.  For the last year, I have been struggling to capture this beauty, but I realize now that it can never be portrayed on canvas because just as Karen was beautiful on the outside, her insides were far more beautiful.   Karen dealt with feelings and human emotion.  The feelings we have, that inner love deep within our stomachs, supersedes far beyond an image of Karen on paper.”
  • One of Karen’s college roommates writes, “Karen was the best.  She was a genuine person.  Just an all round good person.  She gave the best advice.   She really was honest; she took the time to help; she wanted to help; she had to help; she cared.”  The roommate also writes, “When all was bad, I just wanted to go back to the room and speak to Karen, and when all was great,  I couldn’t wait to tell Karen.  She was always there.  Her opinion was always very important to me, and to everyone else.  She really made a mark on my life; she changed my life.”
  • Karen’s sister, Robyn, looked up to Karen in the highest regard.  Karen was able to put negative or disappointing times into perspective for Robyn.  She made everything fun.  Karen was so loved; so respected.  Everything was okay when you were in Karen’s presence.   Robyn wrote in a poem:  “It hurts to think I’m losing you without a reason why, but I know deep inside that you’re what’s helped me by”.  There is a song called “The Wind Beneath My Wings”.  Karen was the wind beneath Robyn’s wings, and whenever we hear that song we remember the strong bond our two daughters shared.
  •  Robyn’s friends loved Karen too.  Robyn’s good friend wrote:  “Karen had it all – brains, beauty and a great amount of love and talent.  I always thought of Karen as my sister.  I loved her and looked up to her, as many people did.  When Karen was living, she always lifted you up when you were down and could no matter what the problem was.”  Her friends loved her because she cared.  If someone had a problem, she would try to help.  All I can say is she left a mark on everyone’s heart that meant love.  Although Karen is not here with me, she still is in my heart and always will be.”
  • Karen’s mother in trying to describe her daughter writes, “Words don’t seem to be adequate to describe the inner beauty that I witnessed.  I remember thinking to myself that already in her twenty years of life I couldn’t be more proud of her – just for being who she was and for having blossomed into someone so beautiful and special.”


Karen’s kind of beauty can never die and so she lives on in our hearts and in our very souls. She remains part of every person that she ever touched.  Her light is bright and continues to warm the hearts and inspire the lives of family, friends, acquaintances, and even strangers.  While it was much too short, we are grateful for the 20 years that Karen spent on this Earth.  We are grateful for her continued love that we still feel today – and will for all eternity. 


When Karen was about thirteen years old there was a tragic death of one of the teenagers in our neighborhood.   The sight of grieving friends triggered Karen to write a couple of poems that she gave to the teenager’s friends to help them with their pain.  These two poems are:





I’ll conclude this tribute to Karen Lee Hunt with these words from one of her poems.



I have lost an old, dear friend.

None of us knew she was near the end.

It isn’t fair she died that way;

Now it is for her I pray.

The tears come again and roll down my face,

For the memory of her I cannot erase.

The sorrow is deep, and will slowly pass,

But our Love for Her will always Last.