Cover photo for Karen Sue Bohm's Obituary
Karen Sue Bohm Profile Photo
1942 Karen 2023

Karen Sue Bohm

April 28, 1942 — November 22, 2023

Leawood, Kansas

Karen Sue Bohm, a beloved teacher and compassionate soul, passed away on November 22, 2023, in Leawood, Kansas.  Born on April 28, 1942, in Pekin, Illinois to William Burris and Mary Ann (Embree) Dawson.  Karen's life was filled with beauty and love that she shared with her family, friends, and the thousands of students whose lives she touched.

Raised by her loving parents, alongside her two older brothers, Dennis and Ronald, in Bartonville, Illinois, she went on to graduate from Limestone High School and continue her love for education.  Receiving a Bachelor’s Degree in Education from Illinois State University and a Master’s Degree in Education from the University of Missouri Kansas City, Karen continued her post graduate education, accruing over 80 additional credit hours in the years following the completion of her Master’s Degree.

Karen's journey as an educator began at her alma mater, Limestone High School in Bartonville, Illinois. From 1964 to 1965, she taught business and accounting curriculum while also imparting her knowledge of physical education. In 1966, Karen joined the Business Department at Timber Township High School in Glasford, Illinois. Proudly dedicating herself to teaching business classes until 1971.

In search of new horizons and opportunities, Karen and her husband Russ relocated to Kansas City in 1971. She joined the Business Department at Bishop Miege Catholic High School in 1972 and became an integral part of the educational community until 1989. During her time at Miege, Karen taught subjects such as accounting, business law, typing, and shorthand. It was during this tenure that she welcomed her daughter Nikki into the world—an extraordinary milestone that created an unbreakable bond between them.

In 1990, Karen embarked on a new chapter with the Shawnee Mission School District. She continued to share her knowledge by teaching business law and accounting while also embracing computer sciences at Antioch Middle School and Westridge Middle School. Her teaching career reached its pinnacle at Shawnee Mission West High School before she retired in 2011 after an illustrious tenure spanning an impressive 47 years.

Throughout her remarkable career as an educator, Karen positively influenced more than 10,000 students who graced her classroom. Teaching was not merely a profession for Karen but rather a life's work and true passion. Her commitment to education left an indelible mark on countless lives.

Karen's memory will forever be cherished by those who had the privilege of knowing her. She epitomized compassion, empathy, and elegance, creating an aura of calm and kindness wherever she went. Her wise and carefully chosen words served as a guiding light for many. Her laughter was contagious, and her smile could light up the room. Karen possessed a brilliant mind and an insatiable love for reading—always immersed in novels that captivated her heart and mind.

A woman of many talents, Karen's work ethic was held to a gold standard. Her petite stature at 5'1" belied the powerful presence she commanded with grace and authority—an everlasting testament to her remarkable personality.

Beyond the realms of education, Karen discovered joy in various pursuits. A voracious reader, she devoured novels with fervor week after week. She treasured the thrill of finding hidden treasures during shopping sprees at department stores or estate sales. Karen's culinary skills were renowned, with her famous steak soup recipe sought after to this day. Her love for Hershey's Kisses was unmatched. She found solace in music on the radio and indulged in her favorite television shows and spring gardening.

Among Karen's proudest accomplishments was her role as a devoted and loving mother to her daughter Nikki. Their bond was unbreakable—a testament to the nurturing soul that Karen was. Animals held a very special place in Karen's heart, leading her to begin rescuing them in 1974. Throughout the years, she opened her loving home to eight dogs, six cats, and her beloved horse named Prudence. Today, Nikki proudly carries on Karen's legacy by continuing her rescue efforts.

Karen Sue Bohm leaves behind a legacy of love, knowledge, and kindness that will resonate through generations. Her memory will forever be etched in the hearts of those whose lives she touched. She is survived by her daughter Nikki Tufte-Holland and son-in-law Travis Holland, as well as her sister-in-law Christa Dawson. Karen also leaves behind cherished nieces and nephews—Ann Harrmann (Brett), Jay Dawson (Barbara), Sheryl Cusey (Jeff), Christopher Dawson (Ivy)—and many close family friends such as David and Kathy Hellwege, Mark Hellwege, and Alicia Hawkins (Matthew).  She is preceded in death by her parents, William and Mary Ann Dawson of Dunlap, Illinois, her brother Dennis Dawson of Deland, Florida, her brother Ronald Dawson of Dunlap, Illinois, and many beloved pets.

Services to honor and remember Karen's life will take place on Saturday, December 2, 2023. Visitation will be held at Old Mission United Methodist Church in Fairway, Kansas, at 10:30AM.  A Funeral Service will follow at 11:30AM in the same location. The church, located at 5519 State Park Rd, Fairway, Kansas 66205, will serve as a fitting space to celebrate an extraordinary life lived with unwavering love and devotion. Burial will immediately follow the service at Johnson County Memorial Gardens Cemetery, 11200 Metcalf Ave, Overland Park, Kansas 66210.

Today, as we say goodbye to an exceptional teacher, mentor, mother, and friend, let us remember Karen Sue Bohm's unwavering dedication to education and her profound impact on the lives of countless individuals. May her soul find eternal peace as we carry forward the lessons she imparted upon us—the legacy of love and kindness that will forever resonate in our hearts and minds.

Memorials can be made in her name to any local pet shelter.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Karen Sue Bohm, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services


Saturday, December 2, 2023

10:30 - 11:30 am (Central time)

Old Mission United Methodist Church

5519 State Park Rd, Fairway, KS 66205

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.

Funeral Service

Saturday, December 2, 2023

11:30am - 12:30 pm (Central time)

Old Mission United Methodist Church

5519 State Park Rd, Fairway, KS 66205

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.


Saturday, December 2, 2023

1:00 - 1:30 pm (Central time)

Johnson County Funeral Chapel & Memorial Gardens

11200 Metcalf Ave, Overland Park, KS 66210

Burial to follow funeral service.

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.


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