Karen LaVerne Kruschka who was a successful Northern Virginia realtor and loving wife and mother died February 12th, 2023 in Woodbridge, Virginia at the age of 80. Born in Albuquerque, New Mexico, on January 4th, 1943, her family moved to a farm in Illinois for a couple of years during her childhood, but then returned to Albuquerque. After high school she attended and graduated from the Oklahoma College for Women in Chickasha.

Leaving New Mexico behind, Karen moved to the bustling big city of San Francisco and began her career there as a secretary for the JC Penny Company where she met her future husband Arthur. They married on August 30th, 1969 at the First Presbyterian Church of San Mateo, California. Life then took her from California to New York, Connecticut, Massachusetts and finally, Virginia.

Karen was a fantastic cook and enjoyed creating cuisines of all kinds. Her Mexican food rivaled the best restaurants. She also had a passion for gardening, beautifying her own yard and growing vegetables and herbs. She enjoyed taking classes to learn more about landscape design. Karen was a skilled seamstress creating many of her own clothes when younger as well as her son Max’s childhood Halloween costumes. She loved classic country music, and 50’s and 60’s rock and always had one of them going in the car.

Karen’s life was defined by service. She was a dedicated member of the Rotary Club of Lakeridge and used the Rotary four way test as a guide for her life and relationships. She was also an active member in the Covenant Presbyterian Church in Woodbridge, helping with service projects in the community.

Outwardly, Karen seemed very upright, but she did have a mischievous streak. In high school she and her friend Sally skipped school one day in senior year and spent the day touring a mortuary having all of the processes explained to them (on the pretext of writing a report for school). In college she hid six packs of beer in the toilet to keep them cold and to keep the house mother from finding them! She was quick to laugh at a good joke and had many funny stories to share.

Karen is survived by her husband of 53 years, Arthur Kruschka and her son Hans Maximilian Kruschka, both of Woodbridge, daughter Gretchen Gray, her husband Ken and their children Kenny and Adam of New Hampshire. She is also survived by her sister Mary St. Claire of Arizona, brother Robert Hutchinson and his wife Lisa of Albuquerque, NM and their sons David, Kevin and Daniel and brother Stan Hutchinson and his wife Kim also of Albuquerque. She was preceded in death by her parents George and Dorothy (Gearey) Hutchinson.

Karen’s memorial service will be held on Saturday, March 25th at Noon, at the Covenant Presbyterian Church, 12700 Black Forest Lane, Woodbridge, VA. The family has requested that guests refrain from wearing black to the service.

In lieu of flowers donations can be made in her memory to the Rotary Club of Lakeridge, PO Box 7537, Woodbridge, VA 22195