Karen Ann (Banks) Sibley, 53, was born March 23, 1964, in El Dorado Springs to Steve and Donis Banks. She passed peacefully at Community Springs Nursing Home surrounded by family and friends Friday, Sept. 1, 2017, after battling disease for nearly twenty-one years.

Karen was born and raised in El Dorado Springs. From a young age she was a devoted Christian that continued throughout her entirety. She enjoyed her childhood with her brother, aunts, uncles, cousins and friends. Throughout high school, Karen was a member of the Bulldog Band and the cheerleading squad. You could also find her carhopping at Simone’s Drive In. After graduating high school in 1982, Karen met the love of her life, Kirk. Upon graduation from Missouri State University in 1990 with a degree in Elementary Education, Kirk and Karen were united in marriage on November 2, 1990.

The two traveled and visited many different states. Their creative talents were a perfect match, as Karen would write poetry to Kirk’s illustrations. Together, they had two girls, Kate and Madison.

Karen taught first grade at Bryan Elementary School for six years until she was diagnosed with a brain tumor in 1996. Karen stayed home with the girls and enjoyed their ball games, track meets, and choir contests. You could always find Karen working on a word search or sending someone one of her famous cards.

She never let her diagnosis define her. She faced every obstacle until the very end with grace and class, never bitter and always happy. She had the kindest demeanor and a heart of gold; her laugh was contagious and being around her made your day instantly better. Karen never complained, never asked why, and never gave up. She did not lose the battle. She was strong enough to know this is not her final place. She won the battle, thriving in Heaven. She lives on in spirit, while walking, skipping and running those streets of gold.

Karen was preceded in death by her mother, Donis Banks; father-in-law, Orville Sibley; and grandparents.

She is survived by her loving husband, Kirk, of 26 years; daughter, Kate, and husband, Logan, of Osceola; daughter, Madison, and husband, Austin, of Springfield; father, Steve Banks, of El Dorado Springs; brother, Michael (Gina) Banks, and children of Carthage; mother-in-law, Peggy Sibley, of El Dorado Springs; brother-in-law, Nick (Tina) Sibley, and children of Springfield; brother-in-law, Kent (Kathy) Sibley, of Keller, TX; brother-in-law, David (Rhonda) Sibley, and children of El Dorado Springs; sister-in-law, Dana (Ronnie)Whitesell, and children of El Dorado Springs; many uncles, aunts, nephews, nieces, cousins and friends.

Services were held Tuesday, Sept. 5, in the Church of God (Holiness), El Dorado Springs, with Frank Haynes and Rev. Brent Bland officiating. Ron Alumbaugh accompanied by Barry Witt sang  “As The Deer” and “How Great Thou Art.” Casketbearers were Ronnie Whitesell. Nick Sibley, Mike Banks , Kent Sibley, Logan Carney ,   David Sibley and Austin Jones. Honorary casketbearers were Kevin Costello, Jay Schwalm, Darrell Dains, Ray Higgins, Allen Hoover, Dane Perry, J.D. Baker, Rory Shelby and Ray Huesemann.

Interment was in El Dorado Springs City Cemetery under direction of Sheldon Funeral Home, El Dorado Springs. www.sheldonfh.com.

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