Friday, April 23, 2021
12:00 PM EDT
Little Farms Chapel
Friday, April 23, 2021
1:00 PM EDT
Little Farms Chapel
2518 Arthur St E
Coopersville, MI 49404
Life Story / Obituary
In many ways, Kay Karp defined the meaning of devoted wife, dedicated mother, loving grandmother and wonderful friend. A true blessing, her generous and uplifting spirit, giving nature and warmhearted ways was an inspiration and gift to those who loved and knew her. Fun-loving yet with quiet faith, Kay radiated her love of the Lord and with ways all her own, she had a way of making everyone feel special. Although deeply missed, Kay will be fondly remembered with joy.
Marked by a time of prosperity, the Roaring Twenties emerged as a decade of economic prosperity rich with optimism and innovation. The stock market soared and people everywhere were brimming with hope as excitement filled the air. Yet nestled in the community of Casnovia, Michigan, Andrew and Hazel (Fisher) Scott were eager to share exciting news of their own when on January 23, 1927, they were blessed with the birth of their little girl, Kathryn Elizabeth.
The youngest of ten children in the Scott household, the onset of the Great Depression cast a shadow of hardship on all, and Kay’s family was no exception. During these early years of the Depression her family moved quite often as her father sought farming jobs. As the youngest, Kay was lovingly cared for by her older siblings who affectionately nicknamed her, “Toots”. These times created a strong bond among Kay and her siblings which remained throughout their lives. She was especially close with her sister, Dorothy.
Despite these trying times, Kay experienced much fun and laughter throughout her youth. She spent most of her teenage years living in the Coopersville area where she also graduated from high school. With her ready smile, she was a very social girl who enjoyed the friendships of many. Her fun-loving and spirited ways carried on throughout Kay’s life.
Following high school, Kay set out to find work. She had several jobs over the coming years, the first serving as the housekeeper for a local family and she also worked at the nursing home in nearby Lamont for a while. From there, Kay found employment at Keeler Brass. For many years and her longest position was working in the warehouse at Meijer where she spent much of the time on her feet in one of the cold storage rooms.
Kay met Cliff Lieffers while in high school and they went on to marry around 1947. Spending over 20 years as husband and wife, their family grew to include their four children, Dale, Beth, Janice and Cliff Jr. They made their home in Eastmanville where Kay was a busy homemaker and also worked a majority of the time outside the house, too. As a mother, Kay was ever encouraging and the ultimate caregiver. Always supportive of her children, she was someone with whom they could rely with unconditional love. Whether driving across town or out for a day trip, Kay often encouraged her children to sing songs in harmony. It never mattered what they were doing, Kay always tried making things fun and adventurous for them.
A wonderful cook and baker, Kay so enjoyed making delicious meals for her family, even if she leaned more toward cooking for good taste rather than health! They often had a garden and with the fruits of her labor she did much canning and freezing to enjoy all year long. Whoever was over, Kay was always sure to have their favorite treats for them. She never allowed anyone to leave her house hungry, and many remember her delectable, homemade cheesecake.
Kay’s Saturday mornings were often spent baking while her Saturday afternoons were spent watching American Bandstand with a neighbor and kids all around. Dancing was always a part of these times, enjoyed and shared by all. Kay’s household was always full of loving fun and memorable times where others often gathered. Much of their social time was spent with siblings on both sides of the family who mostly lived nearby. This gave their children many cousins to play with, as well.
Faith was a cornerstone in Kay’s life. Although she was not quick to express her faith in words, it was clearly demonstrated through her compassionate, caring and giving heart. Kay was accepting of others and her kindness glowed. Her love for those who came her way was a spiritual love of others. As a family they were members of Eastmanville Christian Reformed Church where she also taught Sunday school.
Kay met Robert “Bob” Karp and in 1972 she decided to remarry. Blending their families, Bob brought four children into the marriage. They lived on the Southeast side of Grand Rapids for several years and spent many weekends throughout the years at their home on the Croton Hardy Dam backwaters where they enjoyed snowmobiling in winter and pontooning in the summer. Together they shared wonderful times with family there making numerous memories, especially with their younger children.
Later when they both retired they moved to Pentwater where they lived in a condo for many years. They also bought some property just outside town where they constructed a pole barn and had enough property for family members to visit with their trailers. Treasured times were spent there enjoying campfires in the summer evenings with their children and grandchildren. Always one to enjoy hosting and entertaining, Kay and Bob made several good friends during their years in Pentwater.
Eventually, Kay and Bob purchased a condo in Gulf Shores, Alabama where they wintered for several years. They eventually sold the condo and bought a fifth wheel they wintered in near their daughter’s home in Pensacola, Florida. Other travel included a memorable trip to Alaska in their fifth wheel. While in Florida they enjoyed time with family above all and made many friends. They also shared a boat with Beth’s family.
Kay and Bob shared much in common. They loved fishing together and later in life they began collecting antiques. Always in search of a treasure, they frequented the flea markets, stores and garage sales. In her spare time, Kay was an avid reader and she enjoyed watching the Gaither video series. All through her life, Kay loved her pets. She had a memorable canary, but dogs were always a part of her life.
Family gatherings and entertaining those dear to her was important to Kay. Nothing brought her greater joy than being surrounded by her grandchildren which she loved more than anything. She liked playing games with them and even when they had long left, their little fingerprints left their mark on her glass slider for her to cherish just a while longer. She was fully engaged with her children and grandchildren no matter what they were doing and in usual Kay fashion, she made their times together fun and exciting.
When her beloved Bob passed away in 2011, it truly left a void in Kay’s life yet she pressed on in faith. She was able to remain in her home for several more years with help from her family, friends and neighbors. Although several years ago it became clear that Kay needed daily help as her memory became cloudy. It was then when she began living at Yorkshire Manor where she spent her remaining days.
Kay Karp’s positive demeanor found her quick to encourage, uplift and motivate others, especially her children and grandchildren. When her kids were young, and perhaps down, she had a way of bringing them back up. Kay was blessed to share this gift with others throughout her lifetime. Her smile could light up a room and with a grace all her own, she led by way of example with loving kindness. Gone yet never to be forgotten, she will be remembered in the hearts of many.
Kathryn ‘Kay” Karp, age 94 of Grand Rapids, passed away on April 13, 2021. She was preceded in death by her husband, Robert, in 2011. Kay is survived by her children, Dale (Lori) Lieffers, Beth (Dave) Enbody, Janice (Gary) Hoogenstyn, Clifford (Betty) Lieffers, Cheryl (Robert) Rozendal, Robert J. (Eileen) Karp Jr., Terry (Tina) Karp, Kaye (Richard) Wohlford; many grandchildren, great-grandchildren and great-great grandchildren; sister, Dorothy Koning as well as numerous nieces and nephews. Kay’s funeral will be held on Friday, April 23, 2021, 1:00 PM at Little Farms Chapel, 2518 Arthur St. E in Coopersville where friends are invited to visit with her family beginning at 12 Noon. Interment in Washington Park Memorial Gardens. To read more of Kay’s life, share a memory or to sign her online register book, please visit www.heritagelifestory.com.