Karen Demmien Hafer (née Weaver) age 71, of Malvern, PA passed away at home on October 13, 2023. She had been suffering for several years with the progressive losses of Lewy Body Dementia. Her devoted husband Ed was joined by their children and Karen’s siblings to surround her with love for her last days. She is now at peace with our God, whom she so well served.
Karen grew up in Ardmore, PA, attended Haverford High School and then Bucknell University, where she received a BA in English and met her future husband Ed. They married shortly after graduation and spent almost 50 years together.
Karen was a loving and caring mother and grammy who, through example, taught her children and grandchildren to be kind, empathetic, and resilient. She appreciated the joy, wonder, and beauty of new life and happily helped to care for all seven of her grandchildren as infants and young children. Throughout their childhood and adulthood, she offered her children gentle wisdom and unwavering support.
Karen had a remarkable ability to turn towards those suffering or in need, human and animal alike. Her passion for animal welfare inspired her to study Veterinary Nursing at Harcum College and pursue a career in veterinary medicine at a handful of local veterinary practices and animal rescue organizations. She personally found and provided homes for countless furry creatures through the years. When working as a veterinary technician, she shared much more than her keen intelligence, medical skills, and steadfast empathy for animals. She organized and brought people together through the type of quiet leadership that is as uncommon as it is inspiring.
Karen was also a talented artist and writer. She was adept at capturing the natural state of things with a perfect balance of gracious generosity and challenging realism. Equally incisive was her wit, often in the form of a sage comment on the interconnectedness of experience; her humor was resilient, brave, and, in the most untethered moments, sustaining. It was a joy to be with her, whether listening to Willie Nelson songs or the ocean, and, in this way, she brought people together. Above all, her loving devotion to the beings around her was ever present.
Karen was predeceased by her parents, Winifred (née Demmien) and Edwin R. Weaver.
Karen is survived by her husband of 49 years, Edward M. Hafer; her children, Jason (Rachelle), Meredith Hafer (Chris Lobdell), and Katherine Henderson (John); her seven grandchildren, Austin, Avery, Julian, Alice, Eva, Tristan, and Sebastian; and her siblings, Leslie Eadeh and John Weaver.
Karen touched so many lives with her gentle, transformative kindness. She will be greatly missed. Relatives and friends are invited to attend a memorial service at the United Church of Christ of Valley Forge, 45 Walker Road, Wayne, PA 19087 on Saturday, November 4th at 11 a.m.; visitation starting at 10 a.m.
Contributions in Karen’s memory can be made to the animal rescue organization PALS at https://donorbox.org/pals-medical-fund. Please note Karen’s name in the dedication area.