Ad-Express and Daily Iowegian, Centerville, IA

January 10, 2013

Karen Sue (McCullough) Robb


Daily Iowegian

CORYDON — Karen Sue (McCullough) Robb, 62, passed away due to complications with pneumonia at Iowa Methodist Medical Center on Monday, Jan. 7, 2013, surrounded by her husband and children.

Born in Leon on Dec. 5, 1950, Karen was the third child of Earl and Pauline McCullough. She graduated from Wayne Community High School in 1969. She married Bob Robb, Corydon, in May 1973.

Shortly after high school, Karen went to Iowa School of Beauty in Des Moines and learned to be a cosmetologist. She returned to Corydon to style hair; after marrying Bob, she opened her own beauty salon — “Just Hair.” For nearly 20 years, Karen cut, colored and styled hair. Her favorite clients were her “weekly ladies” who came out to get their hair washed and combed out on Fridays.

Having missed an opportunity to attend college after high school, Karen sought to further her education as an adult learner. Karen attended Indian Hills Community College with her son, Eric, and together they received their Associate of Arts in 1991. She later attended Northeast Missouri State (now Truman State University) in Kirksville, Mo. where she received a Masters Degree in 1994. After graduation, she retired her cutting shears, taught night classes at IHCC, and became an Associate Dean for Graceland University’s distance learning and adult education program. She wanted to encourage others to pursue their dreams. Karen worked at Graceland until 2005.

Karen was a strong woman. A car accident in 2004 left her wheelchair bound. Even in a wheel chair, her spirit was strong. She re-learned how to live — figuring out how to drive and do the many activities she loved — and maintained a positive attitude in the most difficult situations. She focused on her young grandkids to build memories that would last a lifetime. They will remember a “crazy” grandma who loved to do arts and crafts, have marshmallow gun fights, decorate gingerbread houses, color Easter eggs, carve pumpkins, read books and bake cookies. Every activity required a fun hat — she had an entire collection that she used to entertain and amuse them. She loved them unconditionally and rarely got upset with them. She looked forward to their visits, phone calls and e-mails. She always had time for her grandchildren. Her memory will live on in the many beautiful, individualized works of art she created.  

Karen’s legacy is her family. She was married to her husband, Bob, for nearly 40 years. They began married life on a farm south of Seymour, moving to their current acreage east of Corydon in 1978. Together, they raised three children – Eric, Stacy and Barry. She focused her life on supporting and being a good example for them. Whether their interests were in sports, cars or math, Karen encouraged them to explore what they loved. She created a warm, welcoming home and hosted her children’s friends both day and night. She went back to school to be example of pursuing your dreams —even when conventional wisdom didn’t agree.  She fought hard after the accident to come home and live as normal a life as possible. She is an inspiration for many.

Karen was preceded in death by her parents, Earl and Pauline McCullough; her sister, Jeanne McCullough; and several aunts and uncles.

Mourning her loss is her husband, Bob Robb (Corydon); children – Eric and Angela Robb (Pleasantville); Stacy and Randy Zerr (Waukee); and Barry and Sarah Robb (Pleasant Hill); five grandchildren, Katelynn, Tanner, Morgan, Brayan and Kieley; brother, Jack and Mary McCullough (Harrisburg, S.D.); sister, Diana McCullough (Des Moines); close family, Darrell and Wendy Coddington (Corydon); nieces, nephews, aunts, uncles and cousins; her beloved “helpers” that enabled her life at home; and countless friends, students, classmates and coworkers. Karen was a founding member of Corydon Bible Church, and most recently attended Cornerstone Community Church in Chariton.

Memorial services wil be held Friday, Jan. 11 at 10:30 a.m. at Corydon Bible Church in Corydon with Pastor Mike Baldwin officiating. Visitation will be held at Corydon Bible Church on Friday from 9 a.m. until the time of the service. Interment will be in Corydon Cemetery.

Memorials may be made to March of Dimes or Spinal Cord Injury Association of Iowa.

Randolph Funeral Home of Corydon is in charge of arrangements.