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In Memoriam

Karen Lee Van Wagner

Jul 14, 2021

Karen Lee Van Wagner suddenly left us on Wednesday, July 14, 2021. She leaves a massive hole in the hearts of those who knew and loved her.

Our Mom had many passions, one of her best known was caring and loving children of all ages. She was their confidant, many opened their hearts to her as she opened hers to them.

One of her passions started many years ago, she fostered abused children from newborn to elementary age. She loved them as if they were her own.

In addition to Mom’s own children and the many that she fostered, she was always surrounded by her nieces, nephews including the entire neighborhood of kids. Her home was the hang out, everyone called her Mom, and to her Grandchildren and kids on her school bus, she was known as “Gunga”.

Mom’s early years were in southern California, she was born in Long Beach, and lived in Lake Elsinore and in Anaheim. In her later teen’s she lived in Boulder Creek in the Santa Cruz mountains and attended San Lorenzo High, It was there that she was chosen as their Homecoming Queen.

After High School, Mom found herself back in southern California where she married and had four children. She was the best Mom any child could ask for. She introduced us to the Eastern Sierra and Lake Tahoe. We spent a lot of time in the Sierra, and still do because of her. Her passion for the outdoors included rock collecting, Mom sure loved her rocks. She also loved the flowers in her yard, she loved gardening, and most of all, her Grandbabies.

In the early ’70s, our family moved to Nevada to be near Moms sister Susie, and to be close to Lake Tahoe, but that didn’t last long, a year later she moved us to the Paradise Ridge and built a home in Magalia and this is where she began her career as a School Bus Driver for 26 years. She so loved her kids, so much that she saved 26 years of her school kids’ pictures and made a collage of them.

Several of Mom’s kids from the bus who are now adults continued to keep in touch with her, some would even stop by her home to visit, she loved them all.

Mom’s sudden passing has left an infinite hole in our hearts, she was the glue to our family, our Matriarch, our Queen.

Karen Lee Van Wagner Our sweet Mother leaves behind, her Husband Thomas Van Wagner, Sisters Susan Washburn and Jackie Dibble, Three daughters Cindy Christensen and husband John Christensen, Christina Lee and Tamra Fisher, Grandchildren; Kerry Kennedy, Mikaela Kennedy, Alissa Pearson, David Doak, Brayden Dockendorf, Tyler Hoover, Trista Venezia, Hanna Rodriguez, Bodhi Rodriguez and Drake Fisher. Great Grand children Nilena Doak, Paytyn Grant, Hunter Grant, Elora Grant, Kyren Dockendorf, David Doak III, Kevin Youngblood, Joseph Doak, Amelia Venezia, Zoey Youngblood and Olivia Venezia.

She is preceded in death by her beloved son and our brother, Larry Hoover Jr.

*In Lieu of flowers, we ask that you please donate to your favorite charity or organization. Mom donated to the Shriners, St. Judes and the Lakota tribe.

Our family has chosen to have a private family gathering and celebration of life.

“Heaven has a new Angel, Momma found her wings”