Karen Irene (Powell) Kramer passed away Aug. 13, 2019, surrounded by her family.
She was born Jan. 22, 1945, in North Platte to Alver and Maxine (Wilson) Powell. Karen grew up and attended school in North Platte, graduating from North Platte High School on June 4, 1963.
She was united in marriage to Richard “Rich” O. Kramer on Sept. 15, 1964. Karen and Rich lived in Stapleton until 1978, when they moved to North Platte.
Karen loved dancing, making jewelry, writing poetry, traveling, and designing costumes. Karen’s main passion, though, was painting and studying Native American culture.
Karen enjoyed specializing in Native American art. Her extensive research on various tribes, especially the Lakota Sioux, led her to a wide lecture circuit, and her feeling was continually expressed through her artwork. She has had her artwork on display in many Nebraska communities and several states including Idaho, California, Arizona, Iowa and South Dakota. Locally, Karen has one of her art pieces currently displayed on the canopy of the carousel at Cody Park, an everyday reminder of her unique talent.
Although Native American art was Karen’s main focus, her artistic diversity led to lots of other creations as well. Graceland selected her pastel portrait of Elvis Presley, “Final Encore,” for showing in August 1989 during Elvis Presley Tribute Week in Memphis, Tennessee. “Fiddlin’ Around,” a muzzeloading painting, was selected for inclusion in a seven-state juried show during September and October 1989 in Cheyenne, Wyoming. In addition, Karen was invited to and attended the Governor’s Art Show, and had a painting selected for exhibition at the Governor’s mansion in Lincoln. What started as a hobby turned into a professional pastime for Karen. She and Rich traveled frequently where she would set up her booths at various shows throughout the nation.
Karen was preceded in death by her parents; half-brothers, Charles Powell and Jack Powell; sisters-in-law, Jacquie Powell, Darlene Kramer, Hazel Kramer, Doris Kramer and Edna Griffiths; and brothers-in-law George Kramer, Robert Kramer, Ray Kramer, Joseph Kramer and Leroy Griffiths.
Her family who will cherish her memory includes her husband, Rich; daughter, Rae Ellen (Bob) Gifford; son, Shane (Rachelle) Kramer; grandchildren, Troy (Danielle) Correll, Ashlee Correll, Isabella Reilly and Anna Reilly; great-grandchildren, Alyssa Keirans, Breanna Keirans and Emma Rae Correll; step-grandchildren, Amanda (Josh) Dack and Jeremy (Shaye) Gifford; step-great-grandchildren, Everett Dack and Graham Gifford; brother, Ray Powell; sister, Trudy (Lew) Evert; half-sisters, Esther (Jim) Allen and Beverly (Roger) Luhring; sisters-in-law, Mary Ann (Ben) Fox, Audrey (Bob) Magnuson, Louise Kramer and Deb Kramer; brother-in-law, Kenneth “Kenny” Kramer; nieces, nephews and dear friends, Ursula Geary and Janice Buker.
Online condolences may be shared at carpentermemorial.com.
In lieu of flowers, memorials are suggested to the Alzheimer’s Foundation at 225 N. Michigan Ave., Fl. 17, Chicago, IL 60601 or at alz.org; or Great Plains Health Care Foundation, by mail at 601 W. Leota St., P.O. Box 1167, North Platte, NE 69103, by phone at 308-568-7411, or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Services will be at 11 a.m. Monday, Aug. 19, at Carpenter Memorial Chapel with Elder Ray Powell and Chaplain Richard Karr officiating. Visitation will be from 3-5 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 18, at Carpenter Memorial Chapel, which is in charge of arrangements.