Karen Ann Spittler, age 70, formerly of Stockton, IL, died Monday, April 15, 2019, at Cass County Memorial Hospital in Atlantic, Iowa.
Karen had lived in Atlantic, IA, for the past 41 years working as a Speech and Language Pathologist for Loess Hills Area Education Agency 13, serving several school districts in Cass and Shelby counties, retiring in 2010.
Karen was born in Freeport, IL, January 26, 1949, daughter of Charles and Alberta (Herman) Spittler. She attended Stockton Public Schools, graduating as salutatorian of the Stockton High School Class of 1967. She continued her education at the University of Illinois receiving her BS degree in Speech/Language Pathology and Audiology and her Master's degree in Speech/Language Pathology. She was a member of the University Theatre, member of the National Dramatics Honor Society and Sigma Alpha Eta, a national speech correction professional fraternity.
Karen worked as speech therapist in Illinois for the Ford-Iroquois County Special Education Association from 1972 – 1977. She continued to follow the Fighting Illini after moving to Atlantic, Iowa, in 1977, where she joined Loess Hills Area Education Agency 13.
Karen loved working with students of all ages, preschool through high school, bringing her enthusiasm for learning to help develop their language skills. She initiated a “Baggie Book” program for beginning readers and speech students, gathering books and activities to be sent home to work on skills or to simply develop their love of reading.
She was a life-long learner, combining her love of travel with the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association conferences in Florida. Sanibel Island was her favorite beach to visit.
Karen loved her family, enjoyed crafts, weaving, sewing, collecting pottery, cooking, reading, letter writing, and gardening. She spent many years supplying crafts for shops near Atlantic and her mother's shop, Sew Much More, in Stockton, IL. Her lawn was a field of wildflowers and local photographers often used her yard to stage senior pictures.
She was a member of the Wesley United Methodist Church, Stockton, IL, American Speech-Language-Hearing Association, Sanibel-Captiva Conservation Foundation, and National Education Association.
Survivors include her sister, Kay (Mark) Young of Sterling, IL; her brother, Mark (Cindy) Spittler of Freeport, IL; niece, Melissa (Kent) Lee of Bloomington, IL, niece, Beth (Greg) Bailey of Palmetto, FL; great-nieces and nephews, Sophia, Mayah, Josiah Lee, and Benjamin and Caleb Bailey. She is also survived by her aunt; Evelyn (William) Herman; uncle and aunt, Robert and Tana Herman of Lena, IL; and many cousins.
She was preceded in death by her parents; her aunts and uncles, Leah and George Erner, Betty and Gerald Dole, Mildred and Earle Drane, Lola and Dr. W. George Sterk, Beatrice and Kenneth Knight, and William Herman; and cousins, Kurt Edler and Allen J. Pax.
Memorials may be made to the family and will go to add books to the libraries in the schools that Karen served in Cass and Shelby counties.
Visitation with family will be Monday, May 13, 2019, from 4:00 – 7:00 p.m . at Hockenberry Family Care Funeral Home in Atlantic, Iowa.
Hockenberry Family Care in Atlantic, Iowa, is in charge of the arrangements.