Patricia Karen Collier Angelo, of Beaumont, entered the world on June 24, 1948 as a force to be reckoned with. “Though she be but little, she is fierce!” Words from Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream perfectly sum up the life of this firecracker. She was brave, she was strong, she was loyal. If you had Karen in your corner, you had a fiery ally.
Born in Silsbee, Karen was the oldest of five. She often fondly recounted stories of growing up in Spurger with countless aunts, uncles, and cousins, who she dearly loved. But there was One she adored even more. At age 14, she submitted her independent spirit to the ultimate love of her life, Jesus Christ. She carried that love for God with her throughout her years and instilled that fierce, unshakeable faith into her children and grandchildren.
Her adventurous spirit couldn’t be tamed with country life. She married and welcomed her first child in 1966, entering the life-long adventure of motherhood. Wanting to provide more for her son, she returned to Spurger as a single mother to finish high school and later earned a degree in English from Lamar University in Beaumont.
Karen was passionate about learning. As a teacher, she relished the works of the literary greats and imparted that knowledge and passion to her students. In 1971, she married a childhood friend and welcomed two daughters, completing her family.
In 1983, the country girl took a giant leap from Texas and moved with her husband and daughters to Saudi Arabia. For three years, she traveled to the far corners of the globe, from London to Bangkok, soaking in knowledge and culture of each place she visited, amounting to nineteen countries.
Karen returned home to settle in Southeast Texas as a teacher and a mom. In 1990, she became a grandmother to twin girls. She was overjoyed at their arrival, and set to work crocheting blankets, sewing outfits, and loving on her little bundles. Those were the first two of eighteen beloved grandchildren - and each received lovingly crochet blankets.
Life wasn’t always kind to Karen. Through the bumps and hurdles, though, she gleaned strength from God: No matter the circumstances, answers for any problem were rooted in Scripture. She would rise every morning at 5:30, pour a cup of coffee, and then sit in her recliner to read the Bible and pray before the day began. By this silent routine, she set an example for her children that has endured through generations.
Karen balanced life as a single mother and grandmother with teaching secondary level English and history. She always said her favorite age to teach were freshmen - because they were still wide-eyed babies. She loved her students and prayed for them daily. One particularly difficult year, she recalled driving to school, worried about what the day would bring, when a voice whispered to her, “Just pray for them.” She did, and her students blossomed. For Karen, trusting God was always the answer.
In 2004, Karen met George Angelo, and from that moment, the two were destined to spend the rest of her years together. They married in 2010. She adored her blended family - more babies to sew and crochet for! She loved having all of her children together for dinner. She claimed she didn’t know how to cook for just one person. “I’ll put on a big pot of gumbo and y’all come over,” she’d often say.
On January 20, 2020, Karen embarked on the ultimate adventure and departed this earth to join the family and friends who had gone before, and to rest in the arms of her Savior. She is preceded in death by her mother, Willie Faye Mott Collier, her father, Frank Collier Jr., her brother Wade Collier, and her granddaughter Jacquelyn Borel. She is survived by her husband, George Angelo; brother Carroll Collier, sister-in-law, Kay; sister Jackie Walker, brother-in-law Jack; brother Mark Collier, sister-in-law Wanda; sister Shelly Geiger, brother-in-law Ricky; three children: son, Kenneth Wayne Rawls, daughter-in-law Sharon Sims Rawls; step-son Eric Angelo; step-daughter Lana Angelo Jones, son-in-law Patrick; daughter Courtney Rawls Fowler, son-in-law Josh Fowler; step-daughter Rebecca Alyssa Borel; Crystal Rawls Scurlock, son-in-law Jason Scurlock; eighteen grandchildren; and one great grandson.
Funeral service will be held Wednesday, January 22, 2020, at 2 pm at the Riley Funeral Home Chapel with burial to follow at the Beech Creek Cemetery in Spurger, Texas. Visitation will be held Tuesday, January 21, 2020, from 5 pm until 8 pm at the funeral home.