October 25, 1951-November 3, 2019
ANNAWAN — Karen S. Countryman, 68, of rural Annawan, passed away on Sunday, Nov. 3, 2019, at her home. A memorial service to celebrate her life will be held at 10:30 a.m. on Saturday, Nov. 9, 2019, at Mineral United Methodist Church. Reverend Terry Lancaster will officiate. Visitation will be held one hour prior to the funeral service at the church. Cremation rites have been accorded, and private inurnment will be later, at Annawan Cemetery. Vandemore Funeral Homes & Crematory – Atkinson Chapel is assisting the family with arrangements. Memorials may be directed to the Karen Countryman Memorial Fund.
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Karen was born Oct. 25, 1951, the daughter of Hayden and Dorothy (DeBord) Bengston, in Kewanee, Ill. She attended Kewanee Schools. She married Jim Gilbraith in March of 1967. She later married Edwin “Ted” Countryman. He preceded her in death on Jan. 31, 2018. Karen enjoyed fishing and boating. She was a member of the Jayceettes of Annawan and loved playing cards. She also enjoyed reading Harlequin Romance and Danielle Steele novels. She loved spending time with her grandchildren and great-grandchildren. Holiday times were special; she spent hours cooking all the favorite dishes, including her Mom's baked beans and always made sure there was a fresh jar of pickled herring to enjoy. Karen also spent many afternoons with Ted at the Purple Onion, having coffee with their friends. Karen and Ted also raised many Champion Coon River Blue Tick hounds and miniature Beagles. Karen was especially proud of all three of her grandsons, who proudly serve(d) their country in the United States Air Force.
Those left to cherish her memory include her son, Jason (Erin) Gilbraith, of Annawan; grandsons, Chandler Gilbraith, of Sheffield, Ill., Cameron Gilbraith, of Warrensburg, Mo., and Carter Gilbraith, of Ramstein, Germany; and her two most precious great-grandchildren, Rhett and Rory Gilbraith. Also honoring her memory are stepsons, Edwin Starr Countryman, Georgia, David (Michelle) Countryman, Florida; and her stepdaughters, LuAnn (Brian) Burton, Florida, Diane (Robert) Catton, Illinois; and 11 step-grandchildren and eight stepgreat-grandchildren.
She was preceded in death by her parents, Hayden and Dorothy; her husband, Edwin; and her daughter, Cherie Gilbraith.