Karen Virtue

May 15, 1950 - Jul 23, 2023

Karen Virtue

May 15, 1950 - July 23, 2023


Karen Virtue passed from this life to be with her Lord and King on July 23, 2023.

Karen had a simple principle that shaped much of her life and how people knew her. What she liked, loved, or thought was good became something she wanted everyone around her to experience and join in with her. She utilized her strong personality and communication skills to take as many people as possible into the experience, belief, movie, or recipe. That applied to her personal relationship with Jesus Christ which began during her college years. In the succeeding years she influenced countless college students, not as a crowd, but as individual people she saw as their own unique creation. It also applied to her family. She was compelled to post pictures up to the very end in spite of a love/hate relationship with technology - mostly hate. She would do whatever it took to help other people experience the sense of wonder and love that she saw in her family.

Karen was born in Chicago, IL on May 15, 1950 and spent her growing up years in the southern suburbs where she grew friendships that have lasted until today despite moving away after college. Her parents, Art O'Donnell and Dorothy O'Donnell preceded her in death. She had the same love for her family of origin as she had for her eventual family. She is survived by siblings, Arlene O'Donnell, Laurie O'Donnell, Jim O'Donnell, and Andrew (Lori) O'Donnell.

At 20 she recognized the love of Jesus Christ and began a personal relationship with Him. From that point she wanted to invest all of who she was in helping others grow into all they could be in Jesus. That led her to serve vocationally with Cru (Campus Crusade for Christ) for 46 years. She taught, mentored, challenged, and counseled in a way that drew people in to experience personal growth so they were more free in relational conflict, exercising leadership gifts, and affirmed in who they were created to be. She retired in 2019 so that she could spend more time with her grandchildren.

Karen was steadfast in her love for her family. As a wife, her unwavering devotion grew more radiant over 51 years of marriage and was an example for many. As a mother, her ardent love endowed her three children with security, courage, and an abundant capacity for empathy. And, as a grandmother, she recognized and celebrated each of her nine grandchildren’s unique qualities, building each of them up while always anticipating any threat she saw looming on the horizon. She never hesitated to verbalize these hazards - as if she were mobilizing a force of love against the perils of this world. The joy that she experienced over the last 18 years of being a grandparent was beautiful to see, the fruit of a life well lived through her abiding faith in Christ.

Karen is survived by her husband, Tom Virtue; Brian and Christine Virtue - Morgan, Colin, and Kaelyn; Kelly and Jeff Gray - Leia, Maddie, and Johnny; Carrie and Dave Gundlach - Adele, Cora, and Josie. They all are having a hard time picturing life without her.

A Memorial Service will be held in her honor 11 AM on Saturday, August 19, 2023 at Arbor Road Church, 5336 E. Arbor Rd., Long Beach, CA 90808.
Livestream - https://arborroad.com/watch-us-online/


Memorial Service
Sat, Aug 19, 2023 at 11:00 am
Arbor Road Church,

5336 E. Arbor Rd.,
Long Beach,, CA 90808

Get Directions

Sign in to share your memory

We'll never post without your permission

or use your email

By adding a comment, you agree to the following privacy notice and conditions of use

Email Directions

Enter an email address below.
Please separate multiple emails with a coma.

Text Directions

Enter a mobile number below

Get Updates

Sign up to receive a notification daily whenever there is an update on this obituary.


Thank you for sharing!