Karen was born in Bronx, New York, on February 16, 1960. She spent several years in Adelphi, Maryland, before moving to the mountains of North Carolina in the ’80s, where she found home. She attended Warren Wilson College and earned a Bachelor of Science degree.
She began her career with the Asheville Fire Department in 1994 and served her community for 25 years. As a dedicated member, Karen moved through the ranks from firefighter to engineer to assistant fire marshal. She devoted her life to service and volunteered for many organizations, including Animal Compassion Network and Habitat for Humanity.
Karen’s energy and passion for life were felt by all who knew her and those who crossed her path.
Karen lived her life to the fullest through her athletic and outdoorsy adventures, including biking, hiking, rafting, obstacle course races, and firefighter competitions. Her competitive drive and love for nature and the outdoors were paramount to her life.
Karen is survived by her mother, Adele Shuart; brother, Mark Shuart; and her fur babies, Nikko, Tink, Harley, and Izzy, all of Asheville, North Carolina.