She was born Oct. 21, 1952, in Cape Girardeau, daughter of Hurshel and Jean Richardson Camren. She and Mark Illers were married April 19, 1975, at New McKendree United Methodist Church in Jackson.
Karen graduated from Advance, Mo., High School in 1970, and attended Cape Girardeau Business College. She worked in the office and was a bookkeeper and secretary for Delta Companies since 1971, formerly SEMO Stone Companies. She was a member of New McKendree Church, where she formerly taught Sunday school.
She was a former Girl Scout leader, and loved children, cats and NASCAR.
Loving survivors include her husband of 36 years; two daughters, Jennifer (LeRoy) Beard of Farmington, Mo., Lacey Illers of Henderson, Ky.; a granddaughter, Kailey Beard; and a sister, Cindy Manuel of Advance, Mo.
She was preceded in death by her parents.
Friends may call from 4 to 8 p.m. today at the chapel of McCombs Funeral Home and Cremation Center in Jackson.
The funeral will be at 10:30 a.m. Saturday at the funeral home, with the Rev. Jimmie Corbin officiating. Interment will be in Russell Heights Cemetery.
The family suggests memorials be made to St. Jude Children's Research Hospital in Memphis, Tenn., or Safe Harbor Animal Shelter in Jackson.
Sympathy messages may be sent to the family online at www.mccombsfuneralhome.com.