Karen Letbetter Lavender

Karen Letbetter Lavender

November 7, 1961 - January 17, 2018

Karen Letbetter Lavender, passed away suddenly on Jan. 17, 2018 in Aurora, Colorado, due to complications from the flu.

Karen was born on Nov. 7, 1961 in Fort Worth, Texas. She grew up in Bryan, Texas, and graduated from Allen Academy in 1980, where she was the head cheerleader, a volleyball player, and well known and liked by many. It was in the big city of College Station where she met her husband, Charles, at the Electric Cowboy dance hall while they were both attending Blinn Junior College. That first night of dancing was followed by a first date to an Aggie football game and a movie. It didn’t take long for them to decide they would like to be each other’s forever dance partners. Karen then moved to San Marcos, TX, to pursue a degree in Education at Southwest Texas State University while Charles joined the United States Army.

On July 13, 1985, Charles and Karen married at Northview Baptist Church in Bryan, Texas.  They started their lives together in Lacey, Washington, where Charles was stationed at Fort Lewis. About a year later, the Army moved the couple to Ansbach, Germany, where Karen taught first grade for the Department of Defense Education System. It was there, in Nuremburg, Germany, that their first daughter Courtney Lavender was born. The family of three moved back to San Marcos, Texas, where Charles went to Texas State University and Karen started her long teaching career with SMCISD at Travis and Hernandez Elementary. Shortly thereafter, in 1990, their second daughter, Meagan Lavender, was born.

Karen and her family were well known in the San Marcos community throughout the years. Karen was a teacher for SMCISD for 26 years, being honored the title of “teacher of the year” of SMCISD. Her welcoming classroom, Love Hugs, and unconditional love for her Love Bugs shaped the lives of hundreds of students. Not only did she have an impact on her students, anyone who was lucky enough to know her, felt her immediate love and acceptance. Karen was a wonderful example of how to really care for others, frequently going out of her way to make sure that you felt loved and special - a trait that her family and friends will strive to continue in her spirit.

Some of Karen’s favorite activities included camping on the beach in Port Aransas, spending time with her daughters and other friends and family in their home or RV which they parked along various central Texas rivers and lakes, playing with her many dogs and cats throughout the years, laughing with her daughters, crafting, thrift store treasure hunting (she loved a great antique find), and helping people solve their problems.

After an early retirement two years ago, Karen and Charles moved to Colorado to start a new adventure and join their daughters who had moved there previously. They shortly realized the transition from Texas Hill Country to Mountain living was something they enjoyed very much. You could frequently find them going on hikes, exploring ghost towns, celebrating in their home with friends and family, and fishing in the Colorado River that runs through their front yard in Glenwood Springs.

Karen is survived by her husband, Charles Lavender; daughters, Courtney Lavender Bastani and Meagan Lavender; mothers, Ala Letbetter and Janice Williamson; sons, Graham Howison, Gene Howison, and Richard Bartlett; son-in-law, Shayan Bastani; and dog, Molly Lavender. Karen is preceded in death by her father, Sanders Letbetter.

Two celebrations of life are being held. The first will be held on Feb. 3r at First Christian Church, 3105 RR12, San Marcos, TX. The second celebration will be held at Martins Prairie Missionary Baptist Church,12540 County Rd, Iola, TX 77861 on Feb. 6 at 4 p.m. If you would like to send flowers, send or bring them to the memorial of your choosing. Attire is vibrant - wear your Love Bug shirt.

San Marcos Daily Record

(512) 392-2458
P.O. Box 1109, San Marcos, TX 78666