Karen Louise Huffman – November 23, 2016


Karen Louise Huffman, 62, of New Philadelphia, passed away Wednesday, Nov. 23, 2016, while in the care of Community Hospice Truman House in New Philadelphia, after a short battle with cancer.

Karen taught elementary music in the New Philadelphia City Schools for 35 years until her retirement in 2012. The number of lives she touched during those 35 years was immense, evidenced by the many times former students would take the time to stop and tell her how much she had meant to them when seeing her out and about in the community.

Karen was born Oct. 18, 1954, in Louisville, Ky., a daughter of Nelson and Elizabeth Groot Roberson, who preceded her in death. After her high school graduation, she attended Eastern Kentucky University, graduating with degrees in music education and vocal performance.

While in college Karen performed as a member of the cast of “The Stephen Foster Story” in Kentucky, and in “Trumpet in the Land” in New Philadelphia. It was at the end of her second season with “Trumpet in the Land” that she interviewed for a teaching position in New Philadelphia, an interview which led to her 35-year career.

Karen was involved with Little Theatre of Tuscarawas County for nearly 40 years. During that time she appeared on stage, directed several productions, and served as vocal director for many others. She was in the midst of serving her fourth term as a member of the theater’s board of directors.

In 2014, Karen was honored as recipient of the theater’s Marquee Club award, becoming a lifetime member of Little Theatre. The award is presented annually to an individual who has contributed to the theater in a variety of capacities over the years.

Karen’s music talents led her to positions as choir director at St. John United Church of Christ in Strasburg, First United Church of Christ in Sugarcreek and First United Church of Christ in New Philadelphia. She also enjoyed sharing her talents as a vocalist in many area churches.

For seven years, Karen and her husband Rex served as directors of plays at Strasburg High School, where both enjoyed working with the many students who participated. In 1997, Karen and Rex accompanied a group of Strasburg High School students to New York City where they were pleased to introduce them to Broadway theatre productions.

Karen will be missed by her husband, Rex A. Huffman, whom she married Dec. 21, 1985. During their nearly 31 years of marriage, they enjoyed many trips to New York City, where they enjoyed seeing the latest Broadway musicals and visiting their favorite restaurants.

Karen also is survived by her sister Toni L. Roberson and brother Kenneth Roberson, both of Louisville, Ky.; sister-in-law and brother-in-law Corrinne and John Gerber of Strasburg; and nieces Laurie Jo Gerber of Monmouth Park, N.J., and Angela Klein of San Diego, Calif. Also surviving are her beloved miniature dachshunds Grace and Rainier.

The family will greet guests on Sunday, Nov. 27, from 2-5 PM in the Geib Funeral Center at Dover where a Funeral service celebrating Karen’s life will be led by Pastor Jason Rissler on Monday, Nov. 28 at 11 AM. A reception for family and friends will be held in St. John United Church of Christ in Strasburg following the service.

Memorial contributions in Karen’s name may be directed to Little Theatre of Tuscarawas County, PO BOX 53, New Philadelphia, Ohio 44663.

Linn-Hert-Geib Funeral Home & Crematory
116 Second Street NE, New Philadelphia, Ohio 44663

Geib Funeral Service
5600 North Wooster Avenue, Dover, Ohio 44622

Geib Pet Crematory
5600 North Wooster Avenue, Dover, Ohio 44622