Karen D. Malcom, 71, retired psychotherapist and Bible teacher, died at Barnes-Jewish Hospital on Sunday, Jan. 1, 2012, following a long and courageous battle with cancer.
Karen was born Oct. 31, 1940, in the town of Hartley, to the late Willard and Norma Dethlefsen. She attended Royal Elementary and graduated valedictorian from Royal High School in Royal.
She graduated cum laude from Buena Vista College in Storm Lake, in May of 1962 with a Bachelor of Arts in English. In the summer of 1962, she met Charles E. Malcom and the two were married in December of 1962.
In their 35-year marriage, she and Charles had the opportunity to live in a variety of interesting places including California, North Carolina, Japan, Hawaii and Maryland. Despite frequent moves Karen was able to complete her M.A. in Counseling Psychology from Bowie State University in Bowie, Md. in 1983 and her Ph.D. in Counselor Education from Iowa State University in Ames, in 1994.
Her distinguished private counseling practice began in 1983 and continued until her retirement in 2007. She was a licensed clinical professional counselor, certified clinical mental health counselor and certified counselor with the Adler-Dreikurs Institute. She offered years of excellent counseling serving in a number of positions including Dows Community School in Dows, Family Support Center in Scott Air Force Base, Ill., and Christian Family Services in St. Louis, Mo.
Karen was an important, dedicated member and servant in a number of congregations in the Churches of Christ, most recently at Fairview Heights Church of Christ. She was very active in leading classes on personal evangelism, biblical principles for marriage and family, women's ministries, relationship education and small group bible study.
She is survived by her two sons: Gregory and his wife, Pam of Columbia, Ill., and Douglas and his wife, Deidre of Overland Park, Kansas; five grandchildren: three sons of Gregory and Pam -- Wyatt Brock, and Dawson of Columbia, Ill., and Brandon and Ashlyn of Overland Park, Kansas, the son and daughter of Douglas and Deidre of Overland Park, Kansas; two sisters: Mary (Allen) of Overland Park, Kansas, Norma Jean (Brown) of Nashville, Tenn.; and one brother, Will (Dethlefsen) of Fairview Heights, Ill. She is further survived by many nephews and nieces, other relatives and many friends across the country.
In addition to her parents, she is preceded in death by her sister, Carmen (Bang) of Miami, Fla.; brother, Merlyn Dethlefsen of Ft. Worth, Texas; and an infant sister, Darlene.
A memorial service for Karen will be held at 3 p.m., Saturday, Jan. 7, 2012, at the Fairview Heights Church of Christ, 9955 Bunkum Road, Fairview Heights, Ill.. Joe Taylor, minister, will officiate. Friends and relatives are encouraged to attend the service and a coffee immediately following.
In lieu of flowers, friends and family are encouraged to make a contribution in Karen's name to the Hope for Honduras, a charitable foundation to promote food, housing, clothing and Christian ministry for the poor of Honduras.