Karen Virginia Raths, 71, most recently of Newberg, Ore., died in her memory care home on Saturday, June 22, 2019. Karen was born Aug. 24, 1947, in Detroit, Mich., to birth parents Clayton and Kathleen Frothingham.
She was the oldest of four children, and took on a caretaking role with her younger siblings even after the State of Michigan removed them from their home in 1952 and they spent years in foster care. In 1956, she and two of her siblings, Susan and Clayton, were adopted into the home of Albert and Marilyn Allor, where they found stability and grew as a family. Her youngest sister, Anne, was adopted into a different family, but she and Karen were reunited in 1978 and their relationship represented the best of sisterhood for over 40 years.
In 1975, Karen found her way to Wauseon, where she befriended her future husband, Michael Raths. On Sept. 1, 1979, they were married at St. Caspar Catholic Church surrounded by family and friends, and made that parish the core of their community throughout their years in Wauseon. Together, they made a life raising their daughter, Christa North, who remembers her parents as hard-working, salt of the Earth people. Karen worked for over 20 years at Sheridan Manufacturing in Wauseon, and was known by her many friends as a generous soul and a reliable sounding board offering valuable advice.
Karen was determined to stay in Wauseon to remain close to her deceased husband until her own passing. Sadly, after being diagnosed with advanced dementia in 2016, she was moved to the Portland, Ore., metro area to be cared for by her daughter Christa and caregivers Cornelius and Ann O’Quinn. Eventually, she was moved to Arbor Oaks Terrace Memory Care Home in Newberg, Ore., to be close to her daughter but also benefit from a facility that offers specialized care for those suffering from debilitating dementia. Shortly after moving to the home, lung cancer was diagnosed, which brought about her rapid decline.
Karen passed away after her daughter had been holding her hand at her bedside for hours before. She had the assistance of Hospice and the loving staff of Arbor Oaks Terrace. She will be remembered as a funny, determined, hard-working woman who made instant friends of every stranger.
Karen is survived by her daughters, Christa (Jess) North of Tigard, Ore., and Susie (Tony) Aruffo; her grandson, Albert Aruffo; her siblings, Anne (Ron) Price, Susan Allor, and Clayton (Mary) Allor; her wonderful in-laws; and her many nieces and nephews. She is preceded in death by her husband, Michael Raths, and her parents, Albert and Marilyn Allor, all of Monroe, Mich.
A funeral is scheduled for 10 a.m. Saturday Aug. 24, 2019, at St. Caspar Catholic Church in Wauseon, with Father Stan officiating, followed by a graveside service at St. Caspar Cemetery and a luncheon to follow. All are welcome to attend and celebrate Karen’s life.
A donation to the National Cancer Institute would be appreciated in lieu of flowers. Condolences can be sent to 12920 SW Pine View St., Tigard, Oregon 97224.
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