Karen Irene (Powell) Kramer, was born January 22, 1945 in North Platte, Nebraska to Alver and Maxine (Wilson) Powell. She passed away August 13, 2019, surrounded by her family. Karen grew up and attended school in North Platte, graduating from North Platte High School on June 4, 1963. She was united in marriage to Richard (“Rich”) O. Kramer on September 15, 1964. Karen and Rich lived in Stapleton, NE until 1978, when they moved to North Platte. Karen loved dancing, making jewelry, writing poetry, traveling, and designing costumes. Karen’s main passion, though, was painting and studying Native American culture.
Karen enjoyed specializing in Native American art. Her extensive research on various tribes, especially the Lakota Sioux, led her to a wide lecture circuit, and her feeling was continually expressed through her artwork. She has had her artwork on display in many Nebraska communities and several states including Idaho, California, Arizona, Iowa, and South Dakota. Locally, Karen has one of her art pieces currently displayed on the canopy of the carousel at Cody Park, an everyday reminder of her unique talent.
Although Native American art was Karen’s main focus, her artistic diversity led to lots of other creations as well. Graceland selected her pastel portrait of Elvis Presley, “Final Encore,” for showing in August 1989 during Elvis Presley Tribute Week in Memphis, Tennessee. “Fiddlin’ Around,” a muzzeloading painting, was selected for inclusion in a seven-state juried show during September and October 1989 in Cheyenne Wyoming. In addition, Karen was invited to and attended the Governor’s Art Show, and had a painting selected for exhibition at the Governor’s mansion in Lincoln. What started as a hobby turned into a professional pastime for Karen. She and Rich traveled frequently where she would set up her booths at various shows throughout the nation.
Her family that will cherish her memory include her husband Rich; daughter Rae Ellen (Bob) Gifford; son Shane (Rachelle) Kramer; grandchildren Troy (Danielle) Correll, Ashlee Correll, Isabella Reilly, and Anna Reilly; great grandchildren Alyssa Keirans, Breanna Keirans, Emma Rae Correll; step-grandchildren Amanda (Josh) Dack, Jeremy (Shaye) Gifford; step-great grandchildren Everett Dack and Graham Gifford; brother Ray Powell; sister Trudy (Lew) Evert; half-sisters Esther (Jim) Allen, and Beverly (Roger) Luhring; sisters-in-law Mary Ann (Ben) Fox, Audrey (Bob) Magnuson, Louise Kramer, Deb Kramer; brother-in-law Kenneth “Kenny” Kramer; nieces, nephews, and dear friends Ursula Geary and Janice Buker.
Karen was preceded in death by her parents; half-brothers Charles Powell, Jack Powell; sisters-in-law Jacquie Powell, Darlene Kramer, Hazel Kramer, Doris Kramer, and Edna Griffiths; brothers-in-law George Kramer, Robert Kramer, Ray Kramer, Joseph Kramer, Leroy Griffiths.
Online condolences may be shared at www.carpentermemorial.com.
In lieu of flowers, memorials in her name are suggested to:
225 N. Michigan Ave., Fl. 17,
Chicago, IL 60601
Great Plains Health Care Foundation
601 W. Leota St.
P.O. Box 1167
North Platte, NE 69103
Services will be at 11:00 a.m. on Monday, August 19th, at Carpenter Memorial Chapel with Elder Ray Powell and Chaplain Richard Karr officiating. Visitation will be held from 3:00 – 5:00 p.m. on Sunday, August 18th, 2019 at the funeral home. Carpenter Memorial Chapel is in care of arrangements.