August 28, 1940 – November 8, 2019
A chapel service for Karen Marie (Anderson) Solomon, 79, of Coos Bay will be held at 1 p.m., Saturday, Nov. 23, at Coos Bay Chapel, 685 Anderson Ave., in Coos Bay, with Rev. Donald A. Ford, A.M of Harmony Methodist Church, presiding. A public visitation will precede the service from 11 a.m.to noon. Interment will be held at Sunset Memorial Park. Please join the family for a celebration of life following interment, beginning at 2:30 p.m. at one of Karen’s favorite dining establishments, The Coach House, 604 6th Ave. in Coos Bay.
Karen Marie (Anderson) Solomon was born Aug. 28, 1940 in North Bend to Jacob Wickman “Soapy” Anderson and Lela Marie (Hone) Anderson. She passed away peacefully after a brief illness Nov. 8, 2019, surrounded by ‘her girls’ and close family in Coos Bay.
Growing up, Karen loved spending time with her extended family. As a young family, the Andersons traveled frequently to Wallowa Lake where they enjoyed swimming, fishing and horseback riding.
One of the places closest to Karen’s heart was the original homestead in Myrtle Point, owned and farmed by her grandparents, Axel and Anna Hone. “The Ranch” is where the Hone clan, extended family and dear friends would gather annually to catch-up.
Karen’s favorite childhood memories were made at The Ranch where she enjoyed camping, swimming in the river, barbecues, riding horses, playing badminton, catching crawdads in the creek, picking daffodils in the meadow and apples in the orchard, helping in the hay fields, feeding the calves and being chased by the next Thanksgiving Day turkey!
Karen attended North Bend High School from 1954-1958. In high school, she was a member of Sub-Deb, Honor Society, Intramurals, Future Homemakers of America, Girls Athletic Association, student council and rally squad. During her junior year, Karen was named Job’s Daughters Honored Queen Bethel No. 45, and in her senior year she was named North Bend High School’s Girl of the Year.
Karen was known throughout high school for her hard work, friendliness and her ever-present infectious smile.
Karen attended Southern Oregon College in Ashland, Ore. where she obtained a Bachelor of Science in General Studies in 1963 but also had dreams of becoming a stewardess “on one of those big planes.”
On June 29, 1963, Karen married Gary A. Gunnell.
Together they built their dream home on a hillside portion of the Bay View Dairy land that Gary had inherited from his parents, Bill and Georgia Gunnell. This is where Karen raised her four daughters, Wendy Marie, Darcy Lynn, Molly Joan and Jennifer Jo.
While raising ‘her girls’, Karen’s interests revolved around them and their activities which included athletics, horses, 4-H, Special Olympics and community involvement. She was a 4-H leader in the Sumner Buckaroos (horse) and Dec Hands (sewing, home improvement, crafts) 4-H clubs and her involvement in 4-H activities continued for more than 20 years.
Inspired by her handicapped daughter, Karen was most proud of Bay House, the first adult group foster home for the handicapped. Bay House was the result of Karen’s commitment to creating a better living alternative for Molly and other handicapped individuals in the Coos Bay/North Bend area.
In July 1989, Karen married Stan Solomon. Together they enjoyed 19 years of living an active life with family and close friends by camping and rafting at Indian Mary as well as fishing and hunting together before Stan’s passing in January 2009.
Even though a Bulldog at heart, Karen hosted barbecues and happily supported other events for Marshfield High School athletic teams and coaches because her husband was a coach of track & field, football and basketball.
During her marriage to Stan, she raised her second family … of goldens! She and Stan shared a passion for golden retrievers who brought great joy as they roamed the magnificent rhododendron and azalea gardens that surround her dream home on the hill.
Karen was a selfless, loving and generous mother, grandma and the ultimate caregiver … she took care of others first. Always.
Karen is survived by her daughters, Wendy Prieve and spouse Patrick, Darcy Gunnell, Jennifer Ritter and spouse Stephen; grandchildren, Ashton Prieve, Jordyn and Morgan Ritter; stepchildren, Mike Solomon and spouse Mary, Linda Behner and spouse Lt. Col. Nikolaus Behner, Cindy Bower, Denise Solomon and spouse James Dillard; step-grandchildren, Michelle, Krista, Nicole, Erik, Jared, Nora, Jackson and Quincy; as well as numerous nieces, nephews and extended family members.
She was preceded in death by her parents, Soapy and Lela Anderson; husband, Stan Solomon; daughter, Molly Gunnell; and beloved golden, Lani Kai.
In lieu of flowers, the family welcomes donations to Karen’s favorite charities: Bay House c/o South Coast Horizons 320 Central Avenue #201, Coos Bay, OR 97420 (you can also support South Coast Horizons by linking your Fred Meyer card CP254) and South Coast Special Olympics, 1094 Flanagan Ave., Coos Bay, OR 97420. Arrangements are under the care of Coos Bay Chapel 541-267-3131. Friends and family are encouraged to sign the online guestbook at www.coosbayareafunerals.com.