Karen L. (Kirby) Schmitt, 64, passed away Aug. 6, 2010, in Craig after a long illness.
She was born in Oak Creek on May 22, 1946, to Ronald and Edith (Rossi) Kirby and was raised on the Kirby Ranch at Red Dirt Pass.
On Dec. 9, 1967, she married James R. Schmitt in Yampa.
Karen spent her early years riding horses and moving sheep on the Kirby Ranch. In 1964, she graduated from McCoy High School and then attended Barnes Business College in Denver. She returned to work on her family ranch until she was married. After their wedding, Karen and Jim lived in Fort Worth, Texas, for a short time and then returned to Yampa, where they lived together for 42 years. Karen spent her married life as a homemaker and enjoyed hunting, fishing and camping with Jim. She was very creative and loved to crochet and make figurines for her nephews.
Karen was an animal lover and adored her dog, Cici. Upon her husband’s retirement from the railroad in 2003, Karen and Jim spent the next year traveling in their RV to old and new fishing spots. In 2004, Karen became seriously ill with MELAS Syndrome. Jim was her devoted caretaker for many years until early 2010 when she was moved to the Sandrock Ridge Care and Rehab Center in Craig.
Karen is survived by her beloved husband, Jim, of Yampa; brother LeRoy (Charlene) Kirby, of McCoy; nephew Rick (Jennifer) Kirby and their children Taylor and Jed, of McCoy; nephew Travis (Lindsey) Kirby and their children, Colton and Beau, of McCoy; Aunt Ramona Kirby, of Toponas; Uncle Ferris Kirby, of Clifton; Uncle Keith Kirby, of Rifle; and many other loved family members and friends.
A memorial service was held Aug. 14, 2010, at the McCoy Cemetery.
Jim Schmitt and the Kirby families thank everyone for their prayers and support during this time of sorrow.