Karen Griffin (née Heusinkveld) passed away peacefully on December 20, 2020, in Rockledge, Florida, after spending her last days with her children and grandchildren at her bedside.
Karen was born to Clifford and Frances Heusinkveld on February 13, 1938 in Maurice, Iowa. She graduated as the valedictorian of her class at Maurice High School in 1956, after which she attended Lincoln School of commerce in Lincoln, Nebraska. In 1957 she moved to Melbourne, Florida with her parents and then to Melbourne Beach. She quickly made the beach town her home and started her career at Radiation Inc. (later to become part of Harris Corp.) where she met her to-be husband, John.
John and Karen had two children, Kathy and Tim, in 1960 and 1962, respectively. Raised in Melbourne Beach, as a family, they spent weekends boating and at the beach.
Karen retired in 1997 from Ascent Entertainment after being transferred from Harris Corp. and COMSAT. Karen spent the earlier days of her retirement continuing to learn, building extremely detailed family-trees to track the Griffin-Heusinkveld genealogy, reading extensively, gardening, and travelling across the country and world to visit the birth places of her and her husband’s ancestors.
While her passion for knowledge never waned, her focus shifted upon the arrival of her grandchildren, Max and Alex in 1994 and 2000, leading her to move from her long-time home of Melbourne to Deerfield Beach, Florida to be closer to them. She spent many years of birthdays, carpools, concerts, recitals, and holidays in Deerfield Beach before returning to Melbourne in 2009. She spent her recent years reading, spending time with family, gardening, and caring for her beloved dachshund, Holly.
Karen will be remembered as an intelligent, caring, disciplined, strong, and passionate daughter, mother, wife, and grandmother. She is preceded in death by her parents, Clifford and Frances, her sister, Beverly Bloemendaal, her brother, Claire Heusinkveld, as well as her husband, John Griffin. She is survived by her daughter Kathy (John Clark), son Tim (Mary Kolhagen), and grandchildren: Max and Alex.
A small, socially-distanced memorial will be held for family in Melbourne on January 9th. In lieu of flowers, the family asks that donations be made to the Smithsonian Institution in Karen’s name.