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Karren's Story

Karren's legacy is quite the story! From Karren's humble beginnings in rural Indiana, to her journies across the world, Karren has a knack for making a difference and being of service. Karren's story includes her endeavors in education, legislation, and administration. Please enjoy this timeline of some of the highlights in Karren's legendary life.



Karren was raised in rural Indiana on a farm. A precocious child, Karren's interest in leadership and nursing began at an early age. She participated in activities such as 4-H and Future Nurses Club. Karren also volunteered at the local county hospital.

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This is Karren standing in front of a Chinook helicopter in Vietnam in 1966 during her standard tour.

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Karren met her husband Walt, who also served in the military, while on tour in Germany. This is Walt and Karren on their traditional military wedding day in 1968. Walt is dressed in his blues, cutting the cake with a sword. 



Karren attended nursing school at Indiana University and got the last job in the labor and delivery unit at the medical center. She was recruited into US Army Nurse Corps as first nurse in Indiana with guaranteed assignment to Vietnam.



Karen ran a children's clinic in Vietnam. Pictured here, Karren is looking at the interpreter.



This is Karren standing in front of a medicine cabinet in the surgical hospital that she also served while in Vietnam. The surgical hospital treated battle casualties.

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Karren was selected in 1973 for the prestigious award of one of the 10 Outstanding Young Women of America, after having been selected as the Outstanding Young Woman of Colorado.

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Pictured here are the 3rd Surgical Hospital nurses at the Christmas Bob Hope Show. Karren is on the far right, next to Vic Damone, a popular American singer.



Karren in 1976 when she was the President of the Colorado Nurses’ Association. Pictured here with Colorado Govoner Richard Lamm at the signing of legislation allowing the practice of nurse-midwifery in the state of Colorado. Karren worked on this for 6 years, starting when she was a Masters student.

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This is Karren graduating from the University of Colorado receiving her Ph.D. in Sociology. Walt, is pictured left. Karren and Walt's sons are aslo pictured, Kyle (right), and Devin (below Kyle).

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This is Karren's announcement picture for her arrival at Rush-Presbyterian-St. Luke's Medical Center and Rush University in Chicago.

Karren was the Assistant Vice President & Administrator of the Women's and

Children's Hospital, and Chair of the Department of Maternal Child Nursing in

the College of Nursing. 

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Karren, president of the School of Nursing alumni association pictured on the left with Dr. Ingeborg Mauksch with the Dean of the School of Nursing, Pat Moritz, at graduation.

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Karren pictured with her husband Walt at the Indiana University 100 Anniversary celebration. Karren was recognized for her contributions in her profession, being one of the '100 Top Leaders' of Indiana University alumni.

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Karren pictured right with Ingrid Johnson, the CEO of The Colorado Center for Nursing Excellence and Colorado State Senator Larry Crowder at the signing of legislation enabling newly graduated advanced practice nurses to practice. This was a very special day as Karren, Ingrid, and their team and the Center worked tirelessly to get this bill passed.



Karren pictured with colleague Cindy Krening (right). Karren and Cindy both receiving the Nightingale award for outstanding service - Karren for nursing administration and Cindy for clinical service. 

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Karren in Angel Fire, New Mexico receiving a commemorative brick for her service.  The bricks were then placed in a Vietnam memorial walkway. Karren's grandson Colin is pictured left with Karren. Brick was purchased for Karren by son, Kyle, and daughter-in-law, Amy.

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This is Walt and Karren pictured with their grandkids, Colin (left) and Aislyn (right) in front of a Huey helicopter at the Angel Fire memorial commemorative event. Huey helicopters were commonly flown in Vietnam, as they replaced horses for the 1st and 7th


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Both Walt and Karren received bricks at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial State Park in Angel Fire, New Mexico. 



Karren pictured with her brother, Craig, at Frankfort High School (Indiana). Both former Alumni, Craig nominated Karren for the Frankfort High Hall of Fame in which graduates are recognized for being leaders and role models in their professions. Karren was in the first inaugural class of Frankfort High School Hall of Fame.

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 Karren pictured with the Mayor of Frankfort, Indiana, being presented with her Hall of Fame plaque.



Karren pictured next to a Blackhawk helicopter in 2019. Karren serves as chair of the Colorado Veteran's Commission. There are 5 long-term care facilities for veterans in Colorado. Karren and others visited all 5 facilities in the Blackhawk.

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