Karen L. Mathews, age 69, of Elgin, IL passed away on June 2, 2020. She was born September 5, 1950 in Fort Wayne, Indiana to her loving parents, Thomas Ray Foltz and Joan (Augspurger) Foltz.

She graduated from South Side High School in Fort Wayne in 1968 and then headed to Chicago to start her adult life.  She planned to spend a couple of years in Chicago and then move in order to see the rest of the country.  Instead, she met her husband, William “Bill” Mathews, and they set down roots in the Chicago suburbs.  They just recently celebrated 47 years of marriage.

Bill and Karen loved traveling to national parks. Over the years, they hit all the major and dozens of intermediate parks.  Hiking through the woods, up to cascading waterfalls or serene lakes, was their idea of fun.

Karen always loved plants and visiting gardens wherever she traveled.  After retirement, she became a certified Master Gardener.  This was a wonderful experience, and she made several new friends and enjoyed learning new skills.

She also volunteered at the Advocate Sherman Hospital Community Garden, Animal House of Huntley, Garfield Farm, Elgin Historic Museum, A.B.O.D.E. (Admirers of Beautiful Old Dwellings in Elgin), and NENA (Northeast Neighborhood Association.)

Karen was preceded in death by her parents.  She is survived by her loving husband, Bill Mathews, brother, David Foltz (Karen), sister, Sue Tomlinson (Jim); nieces, Jennifer Simon (Brandy), Stephanie Tebeau (Jason), Meghan Jenkins (Josh), Kaitlyn Johnson, (Tyler), and Mallory Tomlinson; grandnieces, Allison, Olivia and Emily and grandnephew, Alex.

A Celebration of Karen’s life will be held at a future date in Elgin, IL. Interment will be in Bluff City Cemetery in Elgin.

In lieu of flowers, memorial donations can be made to the Elgin Area Historical Society, 360 Park Street, Elgin, IL 60120,  or to the Garfield Farm Museum, PO Box 403, LaFox, IL 60174.

Final arrangements are entrusted to Symonds-Madison Funeral Home, 305 Park St., Elgin IL 60120, www.symondsmadison.com.

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