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Official Obituary of

Karen Sue (McNew) Elder

January 3, 1965 ~ March 13, 2024 (age 59) 59 Years Old

Karen Elder Obituary

 RICHMOND- We are heartbroken to share that Karen Sue (McNew) Elder, from Richmond Indiana, passed away peacefully at home on March 13th at 12:21am at the young age of 59 surrounded by many of her loved ones. 

Born on January 3rd, 1965 in Hawthorn, California to Arthur Eugene McNew and Louella Kay (Strouse) McNew, Karen grew up in Richmond and New Paris alongside her three siblings, Richard, Robin (Paul) Wilson and brother Randy (Amy).  

Karen devoted her life to family and friends and preserving the innocence of children. Karen was a loving mother to four beautiful daughters,Traci Nicole, Amanda Suzanne (Cade), Autumn Michelle, and India Ann (Dane), whom she raised with Kent Bruce Elder in Richmond Indiana, and Rochester Michigan. She was a big part of the Oak Arbor New Church in Michigan, and stayed very involved in the school and community over the two decades she lived there. 

She delighted in live music, sitting around the campfire with friends, sharing stories over family meals, or in heartfelt conversations with a close friend. She was known for her selflessness, strong character, and dedication to helping others; always combining strength with gentleness. Karen had a unique way of making everyone she met feel special and valued through the quality of attention she provided and the way she listened with empathy.

A courageous fighter, Karen battled stage four ovarian cancer for nearly three years with remarkable strength and perseverance. She became a passionate advocate for ovarian cancer awareness, urging others to research and get tested for this aggressive and often hard-to-diagnose cancer that affects 1 in every 87 women. She would advise all to research and get tested. 

She leaves behind a legacy of love, including her three siblings; four daughters; six grandchildren—Abigail, Gordon, Alex Sewell, Soren Schaeffer-Elder, Bowen Schaeffer, and Alten Ross; her bonus mother, Susie Shipley; nieces and nephews, notably sharing a special bond with Holly Bruns and Dustin Wilson; and numerous cousins and many, many special friends. 

A Celebration of Karen's Life will be at 2 p.m. Sunday March 17, 2024 at the Reid Center, 1004 North "A" Street/ Richmond, Indiana 47374. To find more information about Karen’s Celebration for Life, visit

To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Karen Sue (McNew) Elder, please visit our floral store.

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Gathering of Family and Friends
March 17, 2024

2:00 PM
Reid Center
1004 North "A" Street
Richmond, IN 47374


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