Karen Martin-KocurekKaren Martin-Kocurek, January 10, 2010.
Karen Martin-Kocurek, January 10, 2010.
Karen was born on July 23, 1953 in Devils Lake, North Dakota to Bill and Marie Martin. She went to school Crary and Larimore, North Dakota and graduated from Larimore High School in 1971. After high school she attended the University of North Dakota where she received a B.S. in Education in 1975. She received a position at the Grafton State School in Grafton North Dakota where she worked with Blind and Deaf Children from 1975 until 1977. She then attended the University of Northern Colorado in Greeley, where she received a Master of Arts Degree in 1978. In 1978 Karen moved to Buffalo, Wyoming where she worked as a Special Education Teacher at Meadowlark Clear Creek Elementary Schools. Karen applied for and received a Rotary Foundation Scholarship in 1982 and spent a year in Norway studying Special Education. She returned to Buffalo where she resumed her teaching career in 1983. She was married on June 21, 1986 in Larimore, North Dakota to Wayne Kocurek and they made their home in Buffalo. During her employment she worked with at risk, high needs, autistic, and gifted and talented children. She was a coach for the Special Olympics and served as mentor for school district staff as well as providing them with professional development trainings. Karen also served as a board member for Region II for handicapped preschool children. She was a life long learner and was involved in many outside agencies. In 2000, she became an Education Diagnostician for School District #1. Karen continued working and living a full life until she retired on January 5th of this year. Karen loved hiking, fishing, backpacking, painting, knitting, gardening, cooking and spending time with her family and friends.
She is survived by her husband Wayne Kocurek of Buffalo; one daughter, Katrina Kocurek also of Buffalo and three brothers, Kalvin Martin and his wife Angela of Albuquerque, New Mexico, Richard Martin of East Grand Forks, Minnesota and Carl Martin and his wife Helen of Garrison, North Dakota. She was preceded in death by her parents.
A Vigil Service and Celebration of the life of Karen Martin-Kocurek, 56 year old Buffalo woman who passed away quietly Sunday evening at the Johnson County Health Care Center, surrounded by her family, will be held on Thursday evening at 7:00 p.m. at the Buffalo High School Auditorium with Father Pete Johnson officiating.
A Rosary will be recited on Friday morning at 9:30 a.m. at the St. John the Baptist Catholic Church in Buffalo with a Mass of Christian Burial on Friday at 10:00 a.m.
Visitation will be held from the Adams Funeral Home Chapel on Thursday from 9:00 a.m. until 5:30 p.m.
Burial will be in Willow Grove Cemetery with graveside services to follow the Mass.
Donations may be made in Karen’s memory to the Buffalo Child Development Center in care of the Adams Funeral Home at 351 N. Adams in Buffalo.