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"For I am already being poured out like a drink offering, and the time for my departure is near. I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Now there is in store for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day." 2 Timothy 4:6-8
Karen L. Florence finished her earthly marathon on Saturday, February 25, 2023.
Karen was born on March 26, 1954, to the late Edward Florence and Joanne Rose, and raised by her mother and stepfather, David Clark (New Brighton, PA). She was a dedicated and faithful member of Living Word Ministry Apostolic Faith Church of New Brighton under the Pastorate of Reverend Anthony Jones.
Karen graduated from New Brighton High School in 1972 and received her B.A. in Sociology Certification Social Welfare in 1975 and her M.A. in Counseling Services in 1985 from Slippery Rock University.
Karen was one of Beaver County’s most preeminent Drug & Alcohol professionals, beginning her career nearly 50 years ago. Entering the field in 1976, Karen became a figure of service to the community working as a specialist for such organizations as Youth Services, the United Way, CCBC, Allencrest Detention Center, Vanport Drug & Alcohol Services, and Adult Probation. For over 30 years, Karen advanced the care & treatment to those seeking services through the Gateway Rehabilitation Center. She was especially committed to men & women in the Beaver County Jail. Karen joined TRAILS Ministries’ team in 2006, becoming the Program Director in 2011, and becoming the Executive Director in 2014. Under Karen’s leadership, TRAILS grew exponentially to become one of Beaver County’s leading non-profits. Karen’s approach was unquestionably unique, trusted, and effective.
Karen was also an exceptional athlete and paved the way for others, as she did in every area of her life through both playing and coaching. In her junior year of high school, Karen was instrumental in getting a girls' sports program started in New Brighton, which developed into girl’s interscholastic sports the following year. Karen captained both the volleyball and basketball teams, winning the league championship in basketball in its first year. Karen was a great softball player. From 1975-85, her team won the league championship nine times. When the league grew to 16 teams and needed a commissioner, Karen took charge. She was fun-loving and always made sure the seasons ended with a picnic and a comical newsletter. She began coaching girls’ basketball in the 80’s and remained an avid fan of women’s sports.
Though she did not care about accolades, she humbly received many, including the Tronzo Community Award, the Beaver County Service Club Recognition Award. She was named one of the Pittsburgh region’s 50 Women of Excellence (2012). Under Karen’s leadership, TRAILS received the 2021 Beaver County Chamber of Commerce Inclusion, Diversity Awareness Award.
Karen touched the lives of so many people with her kindness, empathy, sense of humor, humility and duty to serve. Her commitment to the least of these and her servant heart are her legacy.
She is survived by her brothers Eddie (Kelly) Florence, Jerry Florence (Jessica); her nephews Scott (Maela) Florence, Eddie (Alexis) Florence, Jerry Brown, Justin Brown, and Brian Taylor; 9 great-nephews (Michael, Scotty, Donovan, Tyson, Edgerrin, Alijah, Kaden, Jaden and Jerris) and 2 great-nieces (Seairra & Arielle), in whom she had a lot of pride and joy.
Karen’s homegoing service will be held at Living Word Ministry Apostolic Faith Church located at 1120 6th Avenue, New Brighton, PA 15066 on Friday, March 3rd, 2023,10am-12pm, with a service immediately following.
Family is receiving condolences and any charitable gifts should be made to Living Word Ministry Apostolic Faith Church care of Pastor Anthony Jones.
The family of Karen L Florence would like to thank everyone for the many expressions of kindness, support and love during this period of bereavement for our family. Please continue to keep us in your prayers.
Funeral Services for Karen can be viewed via the following Apps listed below.
Zoom - Meeting ID 857 9776 0464 Passcode - 252259
Facebook - www.facebook.com/TRAILSMinistries/