Karen Gay Richter Blalock died at her home in Minnesota after Christmas.The former Aubrey resident moved to Appleton, Minn., in 2008 to be near her son, Jason Linn Blalock, who graduated from the University of Minnesota at Morris.
Karen was born in Los Angeles, Calif., Aug. 29, 1945, to Hugo Ernst Richter and Jolene Jordan Simmons Richter. In 1963, she graduated from Grover Cleveland High School in Reseda, Calif., and shortly thereafter married James Linn Blalock in Abernathy, Texas. They lived in Lubbock, where she studied at Texas Tech.
Karen lived most of her adult life in Aubrey, where she was a special education teaching assistant and school bus driver. Jason, her only child, was born Oct. 15, 1978. Her husband, who worked at IBM, and her mother predeceased her in 1992.
After an illness in 1998, Karen was determined to follow her dream to work at the Walt Disney properties in Florida and moved to Davenport, outside Orlando, in 1999. Ultimately, she became one of the photographers who take visitors’ pictures at the park entrances. When the hot, humid climate proved bad for her health, she moved to Appleton.
Karen shared with friends and family on Facebook how much she enjoyed the snow and small-town life. Her home was filled with English and Disney memorabilia. She had a special connection to historic London and twice traveled to the city. A highly expressive person, Karen loved wearing bright colors and bling-y sneakers.
Karen is survived by her son, who will live in her house for now; her father, of Aubrey; her sister, Kim Martin Pierce, of Dallas; and her beloved felines, Astraea, Smeagol, Sophie and Tomkin. No service is planned at this time.
The family invites friends and family to share condolences, remembrances and photos at zniewskifuneralhome.com.
Condolences also may be sent to Jason at 27 W. Schlieman Ave., Appleton, Minn. 56208 or Hugo Richter and Kim Pierce c/o Hugo at Red Bird Manor, 1906 W. Chapman Drive, Sanger, Texas, 76226.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests that you make a donation to the animal rescue group of your choice, the Humane Society of Swift County (211 11th St. N, Benson MN 56215) or Community Animal Resource, Education and Support (911 Lincoln Ave. E, Montevideo MN 56265).