Karen Denise Flowers Stephens was born in Houston, TX on October 24, 1958 to David C Flowers and JoAnn Houston Flowers Hassett. She grew up in Houston where the family were members of St. Marks United Methodist Church, and Karen became involved in church music. She joined the choir as soon as she was allowed. She also learned to play the guitar and became involved in the more contemporary music of the time, including leading the singing in her youth group. She attended Rice University in Houston, where she graduated cum laude in May, 1981, with a degree of Bachelor of Arts in English. On June 20, 1981 she married her life long soul mate, Denny Stephens. They resided in Houston for five years. In January of 1986, they transferred with Denny’s work to Columbus, Ohio, where they have enjoyed rural living and sharing their home with friends and family. Karen is survived by Denny, her sister Kay Ann Flowers, aunt Billie Jean Batson, cousins Bryan and Theresa Batson and Robert Bateman, five step sisters, and many, many friends.
Karen has been a treasure and was loved by all who knew her. She was smart, talented, and funny. She held several jobs, but church choral music and folk music were her passions. She has contributed significantly to the music ministry of Northwest United Methodist Church in Columbus, Ohio over the 36 years she and her husband have been members. She sang alto, played guitar and other folk instruments, and led a chorale ensemble. She wrote a few songs performed by the ensemble and choir. Over the last few years, Karen found her folk music family in the Worthington Squares Jam Group of the Central Ohio Folk Music Society, where, again, she shared her many musical talents to the delight of the group and audiences. Karen had many other interests, including passions for flower and vegetable gardening, weaving, beading, and other beautiful crafts. And no one, of course, could overlook her witty, crafty, and often silly sense of humor.
Karen was diagnosed with cancer in February of 2019. She fought bravely without complaint against the indignities of surgery and multiple rounds of chemotherapy. She continued participating in church and folk music activities as much as circumstances, her health, and covid allowed. In early September, Karen's cancer progressed to the point where chemo and other therapies could no longer help. Karen passed on in Denny’s and Kay’s embrace early Friday morning, September 23rd, one month shy of her 64th birthday.
The Celebration of Karen’s Life will be at 10am Tuesday, September 27th, with family visitation the previous evening from 5 to 7 pm. Both will be held at Northwest United Methodist Church, 5200 Riverside Drive, Columbus OH. In lieu of flowers, the family suggests donations in Karen’s memory to the Music Ministry of Northwest UMC Northwest United Methodist Church | Give (nwumc.com), or to the Columbus Folk Music Society Contact/Donate (columbusfolkmusicsociety.org).