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Karen Hurley Kuchar, IHM Associate

Karen Hurley Kuchar had an exceptional life. Karen passed away Saturday, October 7, 2023, after an eleven-month battle with cancer at her home in Downers Grove. Although her chapter in this world has come to an end, her story, inspiration, and spirit will live on for many years to come.

Born in Detroit, Michigan to James and Eleanor (Black) Hurley on January 21, 1949, Karen entered the Sisters, Servants of the Immaculate Heart of Mary of Monroe, Michigan in 1966 following graduation from high school. Karen graduated from St. Louis University with a degree in English and Psychology and taught in Detroit at St. Mary’s of Redford from where she graduated until she made the decision to leave religious life. She then attended George Williams College in Downers Grove and obtained a Master’s in Counseling Psychology. It was in graduate school where she met Ken, her loving partner for 49 years whom she married in 1976 in Detroit, Michigan. Karen was a loving mother to two children, Evan and Carolyn. As executive director of the Care and Counseling Center in Downers Grove for 4 years and Family Shelter Service in Wheaton for 16 years, her leadership style was grounded in integrity, compassion, and wisdom. Karen ventured into her own consulting and coaching business and began teaching courses for a Master’s program at North Central College. As grandparents, Karen and Ken, cherished every minute with their 5 grandchildren. For the past 7 years, Karen was board president of Anawim Arts where she and her cohort of inspirational friends explored how creative expression, art, and spirituality are woven through all of us. Karen published a book of poetry in 2016 and has been preparing a second book of poetry and continued it during her time battling cancer.

Karen’s spark will live on in her family, spouse, Ken, children, Evan (Miya), Carolyn (Carl), grandchildren, Lincoln, Lily, and Wilson Frost, and Ansel and Walden Drucker-Kuchar, siblings, Kevin (Cheryl), Susan (Jeff), sisters-in-law, Kris (John), Karen (Hugh), Kathy, and 10 nieces and nephews. She was met in heaven by her parents James and Eleanor (Black) Hurley and her in-laws George and Lorraine (Hejl) Kuchar.