Karen Ann Vavra, 69, of Marion, Iowa passed away on Thursday, June 25, 2020 at the Oldorf Hospice House of Mercy in Hiawatha. A visitation will be held on Tuesday, June 30, 2020 from 4-7pm at Cedar Memorial Park Funeral Home. Family will be holding a private funeral mass at St. Joseph’s Catholic church in Marion. Cremation will take place after services. Inurnment will take place at a later date.
Karen Ann Picciano was born on February 22, 1951; the daughter of Raymond and Inez (Morelli) Picciano. Karen was united into marriage to Norman Reznicow on May 26, 1973, and raised two boys Joshua and Samuel. They later divorced and on November 3,1995 she was united in marriage to Steve Vavra in Battle Creek, Michigan. She was a strong advocate for Human Rights, Animal Welfare, and environmental protection. Karen had been an educator for most of her professional life specializing in children with learn disabilities. She created a Humane Education program for school aged children to help them understand the interconnection between people and animals and to promote respect for the animals around us. Karen was very devoted to her Catholic faith and sang in Epiphany Catholic Church choir in Minnesota for two decades. She took great pride in being a mother to the children she raised as a stay at home mother.
She was preceded in death by her parents, and beloved daughter, Georgia.
Left to cherish Karen's memory are her husband, Steve Vavra of Marion; two sons, Joshua (Karen) Reznicow of Marion; and Samuel (Michelle) Reznicow of Elk River, MN; four grandchildren, Andrea, Aiden, Ethan, and Noah; brother, Raymond Picciano of Englewood, NJ; and her four cats Nietzsche, Dempsey, Silas, and Slade.
In lieu of flowers, the family has respectfully requested that any memorial contribution be made to one of the charities that Karen supported: Canine Companions for Independence, Humane Society of the Untied States, Catholic Charities, Alley Cat Allies.