She was born Nov. 21, 1945, in Cape Girardeau to William Doyle and Sarah Melinda Cook Kerr. Karen grew up in Southern Illinois. She graduated from Shawnee High School in Wolf Lake, Ill., in 1963. After high school she attended Cape Girardeau Office Training School.
She was a receptionist for two years for R.B. Potashnick in Cape Girardeau. She worked for attorneys W.H. Connors and Parker McCullough in Georgetown, Texas, for eight years. Then she and her husband in 1988 started Burris Construction Inc., where she worked for 15 years until retiring in 2003. She and her husband purchased the Northstar Ranch in Telegraph, Texas, in 1999.
Karen and Lonnie Burris were married May 28, 1971, in Houston. They were happily married for 41 years.
She was a member of Beta Sigma Phi international sorority in Georgetown. She enjoyed entertaining and celebrating with family and friends, cooking, traveling, tennis and hunting.
Karen was preceded in death by her parents, William Doyle and Sarah Melinda Kerr of Poplar Bluff, Mo.; a niece, Lisa Diane West of Poplar Bluff; a nephew, Larry Dean Kerr of Bastrop, Texas; and a sister-in-law, Ruth Kerr of Poplar Bluff.
Survivors include her husband, Lonnie, of Wimberley; sons, Marty and Drew Davis of Jonesboro, Ill., Regan (Nadia) Burris of San Marcos, Texas, Kirk Burris of Schaumburg, Ill., Kent (Robin) Burris of Lexington, Texas, and Scott Murphy of Poplar Bluff; two brothers, Robert (Ruby) Kerr of Poplar Bluff and Larry (Alice) Kerr of Bastrop, Texas; seven grandchildren, Matthew, Patrick, Brittany, Tyler, Shelby, Kaycee and Andrea; two great-grandchildren, Kaiden and Brelynn; and nephews and nieces, Bobby, Ron, Lana and Debbie.
The family will be greeting friends and relatives for a celebration of her life at the Embassy Suites, 1001 E. McCarty Lane in San Marcos, Texas, from 1 to 6 p.m. Feb. 10.
Burial will be at 2 p.m. Feb. 16 at City Cemetery, 1901 N. Main St. in Poplar Bluff.