Karen Elizabeth Larkins, 67, of Rolla, Mo., formerly of Murray, Ky., died Thursday, Dec. 20, 2018 at the St. James Living Center in Missouri.
She was born in East Prairie, Mo., on Feb. 10, 1951 to Robert Larkins Jr. and Mary Hubbard Larkins. The family later moved to Bardwell, Ky., where she graduated from Carlisle County High School in 1969. She married and had three daughters. Once her children were older, she decided to go back to school. When the opportunity to move to Murray, Ky., presented itself, she completed her advanced degree in special education at Murray State University. She began her teaching career in Hickman County, and later taught in the Calloway County and Murray Independent school districts. As she gained teaching experience, she found her passion was working with at-risk students, particularly those who were not successful in the traditional classroom environment. She worked to develop a program that tapped into community resources such as job shadowing and mentoring to help these students succeed. She retired from teaching in 2008.
A member of Westside Baptist Church, she enjoyed spending time with her friends at the Murray-Calloway County Senior Citizens Center and spreading cheer with her joyful spirit and friendly smile to those around her.
She was preceded in death by her father Robert Larkins Jr., Bardwell, Ky. She is survived by her mother, Mary Hubbard Larkins, Bardwell, Ky.
Survivors also include three daughters, Amy Helm Wilson (Michael) of Rolla, Mo., Angela Wood (Chip) and Ashlea Helm, all of Murray, Ky.; nine grandchildren, Austin, Ryker and Ethan Wilson of Rolla, Mo., Raeanne Moss, Ava Abbott, Layla Wood, Tyler Helm, Mathew Helm and Lydia Dismore, all of Murray, Ky.; brothers Leonard Larkins (Kathy), Bardwell, Ky.; Terry Larkins (Denise), Bardwell, Ky.; Joe Larkins (Bethany), Memphis, Tenn., and Calvin Larkins (Tammye), Cunningham, Ky.; sisters Tammy Larkins Balzer (Mark), Westerville, Ohio and Lori Larkins Kohn (Phil), Hickory Grove, S.C.; many nieces, nephews and extended family members; and special friends Linda Harris, Louisville, Ky.; Becky Miller of Murray, Ky.; and Jim Rule of Mayfield, Ky.
Cremation services are under the direction of Rolla Cremation and Memorial in Rolla, Mo. No formal service will be held. Expressions of sympathy may be made to Phelps Regional Homecare Hospice Program in Rolla, Mo., or the Murray-Calloway County Senior Citizens Center in Murray, Ky.