Karen Whitlatch

September 05, 1948 ‒ December 20, 2017

Mansfield, Ohio

MANSFIELD: It’s no surprise that a woman with the nickname “KareBear” possessed one of the most caring hearts you would ever meet. She had a way of making everyone feel special and showed she cared by acts of love. Her always-busy hands finally at rest, Karen Whitlatch peacefully passed away Wednesday, December 20, 2017 in her Mansfield home surrounded by family, following a courageous battle with cancer. She was 69.

Karen was born September 5, 1948 to parents Reuben & Gladys (Rife) Frederick in Bellevue and graduated from York High School. On a warm summer day in Bellevue, Ohio she married James Whitlatch on July 19, 1970 and they shared 41 wonderful years of marriage until he passed away in 2011. They are now together again.

Karen was a crisis line worker at Catalyst Life Services for 12 years where she was known as Mama Karen (or KareBear) and most recently worked in the kitchen there.

In spare time, she loved to travel and some favorite vacations included NYC, Disney World, and Branson. Karen enjoyed being a Mom, loved being a Grandma, but LIVED to be GiGi (which she preferred over “Great-Grandma”) with each new generation she found ways to dote even more than the last.

Karen will probably be best remembered for her delicious pumpkin rolls. The mid-autumn production of pumpkin rolls was a huge event in the Whitlatch home and she mixed the batter and filling for each roll individually—with lots of love baked in too.

She was a member of St. John’s United Church of Christ in Mansfield where she used her love for children to volunteer in the nursery. Karen was also a member of the Beta Sigma Phi social sorority and enjoyed helping with their charity projects.

She is survived by children Christopher Whitlatch and Mandi Whitlatch; special daughter Jodi Welch; grandchildren Davia, Jasper, Hope, Riley, Isabella, London, Daylin, and one on the way; great-grandchildren Carter, Sophia, and Jayden; siblings Robert (Rosie) Frederick, George Frederick, Lillian (Earnest) Yetter, Lucy Garman, Virginia Stimson, and James (Gayle) Frederick; brother-in-law Mike (Pat) Whitlatch; cousin Dick (Phyllis) Whitlatch; and numerous nieces (including special niece Annette), nephews, great-nieces, great-nephews, and extended family. Karen will also be missed by her grand dogs Cindy Lou and Sammy.

In addition to her parents, she was preceded in death by her husband Jim Whitlatch; siblings Charles Frederick, Barbara Elchert, and Eleanor Osmon; and best friend Beth-Ann Maglott.

Visitation will be held Friday, December 22, 2017 from 4-7 p.m. in the Lexington Avenue Snyder Funeral Home where funeral services will be Saturday at 10 a.m. The Rev. Jared Ruari will officiate and burial will follow in Mansfield Memorial Park.

Memorial contributions to “New Beginnings a Catalyst Co.” (memo line: New Beginnings Fund) may be made through the funeral home.

Online condolences to the family are encouraged by visiting: SnyderFuneralHomes.com

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  • To the whole family of Karen Whitlatch: We offer our sincere condolences and deepest sympathy to your wonderful Karen. She was truly a very caring person and a great witness of our Lord as she went about her “living”, helping others in every way she could. May all of you be blessed with many wonderful memories to comfort you at this sad time. Ron and Rita Odson

  • Mandi and the whole Whitlatch family, I am sorry for your loss! You are in my thoughts and prayers during this very difficult time!

  • Chris you have my deepest heartfelt sympathy for the loss of you beloved mother. My prayers go out for you all. Chris I am Michael Pasheilichs mom.

  • I am so sorry for your loss. Our thoughts and prayers are with you and you and your family.
    The Tyler family

  • Mandi and Jodi
    We are sorry for your loss. May god hold you in the palm of his hand and give you peace.
    Mike, Kathy and Athena

  • Mandi & all of the Whitlatch family, I am so sorry for your loss. You are all in my thoughts & prayers. Karen was a wonderful person & she will be missed. Take care & may God Bless you.
    Shelly Pittenger

  • Mandi,
    I am so sad to hear of your loss. I truly enjoyed your Mom. She always had a smile.
    Please remember, a Mothers Love, never dies. She will always be with you.