Karen DeVries, 59 of Valparaiso, passed away peacefully at home, surrounded by family on Saturday, June 11, 2022. She was born October 21, 1962, in Akron, OH to Marshall and Roann (Milsap) Friend. Karen graduated from Wadsworth High School in Wadsworth, OH and attended Grace College in Winona Lake, IN. She was an elite cross-country runner who turned her passion for running into a passion for coaching. Karen was a successful and well-respected Valparaiso High School Cross Country and Track and Field Coach for over 25 years. She was a decorated coach and athlete, whose name is emblazoned in five different halls of fame throughout her career in high school, college, and coaching. Karen led countless teams to State Championships and individual runners to top titles, with many of her athletes going on to compete at the collegiate level.
Karen was a member of Calvary Church in Valparaiso and lived her life with an unwavering faith in the Lord. She held her family in the forefront of her mind always and loved spending time with them. She helped many people as a mentor, with her guidance and advice. Karen was a beloved wife, mother, grandmother, daughter, sister, coach, and friend, who will be dearly missed, but lovingly remembered every day.
On August 10, 1985 in Fairlawn, OH, Karen married the love of her life, Robert DeVries, who survives, along with their children: Nicholas (Andrea) DeVries and Katelyn DeVries, all of Valparaiso; grandsons: Cooper and Finn DeVries; parents: Marshall and Roann Friend of Wadsworth, OH; and siblings: Valerie (Dave) Carey, Bryan Friend, Julie (Dave) Bartel, and Tina (Brian) Bushi.
A visitation will be held on Friday, June 17, 2022 from 4:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m. at Calvary Church, 1325 Evans Ave., Valparaiso. The funeral service will begin on Saturday at 11:00 a.m. at the church, with additional visitation from 10:00 a.m. until the start of service. Burial will follow at Holland Cemetery in DeMotte, IN. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made in Karen’s name to Kids Alive International.
I’m so sorry for your loss. Karen was a great coach and mentor to all of her athletes, and always a positive person to be around. She will be missed… Lorie Cook