Karen Donese (Pruitt) Schooler, 68, of East Wenatchee, Wash. was born in Holly Springs, Mo. in November of 1952. Her parents, Berkeley and Minnie Pruitt moved to Washington in 1955, settling in Okanogan where she graduated in 1971. After high school she attended Eastern Washington University earning a degree in Therapeutic Recreation.
After college Karen moved to Wenatchee and worked for non-profits such as the YWCA and The ARC. For Karen, the questions “How can I help? How can I serve?” always brought her to people with disabilities. She ran camps such as Camp Active, arranged softball games and bowling parties, thriving on the laughter and joy these activities brought.
When Karen met Bud Schooler, they were attracted to one another because of their mutual love for people with a disability. Her intelligence and sense of humor impressed him, and lead to long conversations. She married Bud in 1982 and they raised their three sons: Steve, Michael and Nathan in East Wenatchee. Her boys brought a new element of non-stop excitement into her life with all of their various activities.
With her gift of service to others, Karen found her true calling as a Paraeducator in Special Education for the Wenatchee School District. She worked first for Headstart, then transitioned to the High School Special Education classes. For her students, Karen’s help often meant the difference between graduating or not. She was honored to be asked by a couple of her students to be on stage during their graduation.
Karen treasured her lifelong friends and devoted her life to her family. Her four grandchildren brought out her inner-child and she loved every minute she spent with them.
She passed away Sept. 11, 2021, after a brief struggle with heart issues. She had such a big heart for all of us that maybe there wasn’t enough left over for herself.
Karen was preceded in death by her parents, C. Berkeley Pruitt and Minnie Evelyn Pruitt, of East Wenatchee. She leaves behind her husband, Lyman “Bud” Schooler, of East Wenatchee; her sons, Steven (Aneya) Schooler, of East Wenatchee, Michael Schooler, of East Wenatchee, and Nathan Schooler, of Ephrata, Wash.; her sister, Kristi (Gary) Atwood, of Vancouver, Wash.; and her four beautiful grandchildren, as well as many cousins and their families.
A graveside service will be at 11 a.m., Saturday, Oct. 2, 2021, at Evergreen Memorial Park, 1301 10th NE, East Wenatchee, WA 98802. A reception will follow.
In lieu of flowers donations can be made to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, Shriners Children’s or to Special Olympics Washington.
Arrangements are being made by Chapel of the Valley in East Wenatchee.