Karen Joan Geyer McGrain, age 86, of Pittsboro, died Tuesday, February 9, 2021 at the Jim & Betsy Bryan UNC Hospice Home.
Karen was born in Racine, Wisconsin on April 22, 1934 to the late Theodore F. Geyer and Florence Olsen Geyer. She was also preceded in death by sisters Sue Jones and Cyndi Nitz, and brother Gordon Geyer.
In 1958, Karen graduated from Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois, with a bachelor’s degree in English Literature. After graduation, Karen worked for a national market research company traveling the United States to set up new offices and to interview staff for those locations. Later Karen became a 5th grade teacher for 20 years. Her students loved her and sent tribute letters to her many times. Upon retiring from teaching in elementary schools, Karen started her own business called English Plus wherein she had contracts with large companies to teach English to foreign born scientists and to advise them in communicating effectively through speech and writing, and in composing efficient and effective email messages.
Karen was a skilled seamstress making clothes for generations of her family. She was an avid quilter and created beautiful and lasting quilts again across generations of family, friends, and people in need. In addition, Karen loved to knit and made exquisite Icelandic design sweaters. She had a green thumb that included planting and tending organic gardens that were used to feed her family, lovely flowers all around their houses, indoors as well. Finally, Karen was a chef extraordinaire treating her husband, daughters, and many guests to delicious meals.
Surviving relatives include her loving husband of 61 years David McGrain, four daughters: Anne McGrain and husband Ron Kaplan of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania; Beth McGrain of Livingston, New Jersey; Nina Decker and husband David Decker of Cohasset, Minnesota; and Lisa McGrain of Waukegan, Illinois. Karen also had seven grandchildren: Nicholas and Aiden Braun, Kristen Fung, Amanda Decker, Nicole Johnson, and Brandon and Brian Rouse; and six great-grandchildren: Evan, Charley and Arden Barnhouse; Nora and Sammy Johnson, and Gabriel Rouse.
There are no in-person services planned at this time due to the unusual circumstances we are under because of COVID-19. The family is planning a virtual service with details to follow. An in-person service will be planned as soon as circumstances allow.
In lieu of flowers the family asks that donations be made in Karen’s memory to the Dementia Society of America at demntiasociety.org.
Condolences may be made at www.donaldsonfunerals.com
Donaldson Funeral Home & Crematory is honored to serve the McGrain family.
To send sympathy gifts to the family or plant a tree in memory of Karen Joan (Geyer) McGrain, please visit our tribute store.
Dementia Society of America
P.O. Box 600, Doylestown PA 18901