Karen Denise (Raley) Loar


Karen Denise (Raley) Loar, 66, of Paola, Kansas, passed away on Saturday, September 11, 2021, after an extended illness.

Karen was born to Barbara Belgard Boswell and Roger DeLee Raley on May 23, 1955. She married William (Bill) Edward Loar at the age of 17 and soon after became a mother to her six children.

Karen was a devout Christian, wife, mother, and teacher. Her relationship with the Lord was her priority. She was a woman of simple means who gave all she could to serve others. Her selflessness and servant heart are two characteristic traits she was well known for. Karen knew the importance of relationships.

Karen loved being a mother. It was important to her to be a stay at home mom while also finding ways to make an income. She took in ironing, watched other children, and did housekeeping and cooking for other families so that she could work yet also still be home for her children.

Once Karen’s children were all in school, she decided to go back to school herself enrolling as a full time student. She graduated from Ottawa University in 1991 with a Bachelors in Elementary Education. Karen began her teaching career at Hillsdale Elementary, in Hillsdale, Kansas. She often referred to Hillsdale as a hidden treasure and students within her classroom were her special “human beans.” Karen completed her final years as a public school teacher at Cottonwood Elementary, in Paola, Kansas.

Teaching was a passion for Karen and it also became her identity. After 26 years of teaching in the Paola School District, her health pushed her into retirement. Karen still had a lot to give so she continued educating young children of the Paola community while working part time as a Pre-K teacher at Little Lambs Preschool and Daycare in Paola, Kansas for another 4 years. Karen had a love for learning and a passion for teaching. She used her God given gifts to impact hundreds of children throughout the Paola community until her final days.

Karen also had a love for the country of Guatemala. She traveled on mission trips with For the Love of Mateo and fell in love with the children and all of their hugs. She enjoyed reading to them as well as helping them with games and crafts. She loved getting to hand out treats for the children wherever she went.

Karen is survived by her husband of 49 years, William (Bill) Loar of Osawatomie, Kansas, and her six children; Melaine Smith, her husband Toby and their two boys Evan and Eli Smith; Tammy Cole, her husband Greg, and their three daughters, Alyssa, Maggie, & Greta Cole; Valerie Edwards, her husband Doug, and their three children, Rylie, Adyson, and Mateo; Kimberly Newton, her husband Michael and their four boys, Andrew & his wife Jessica, Dylan, James, Jason; Paul Loar, his wife Carrie, and their six children, Kaleigh Rogers & her husband Clay, Mackenzie Loar and her fiancé Caleb Hecker, CJ Shell, Abigail Loar, Angelica Roberts, and Jaden Loar; Cherie Worden, her husband Troy, and their three children, Hayden, Maxwell, and Olivia.

In addition to her husband, six children, and twenty-one grandchildren; Karen leaves behind seven great-grandchildren, Madison and Oliver Newton, Isaac and Shelby Howell, Cade and Carrigan Rogers, and Stella McFarland; her mother, Doris Raley, her two brothers, Steve Boswell and Michael Raley, and her four sisters, Dorinda Mayfield, Terry Stevens, Julie Manis, and Patti Goshien.

Preceding her in death are; her grandparents Carl and Thelma Raley, her father Roger Raley, her biological mother, Barbara Boswell, and her sister Marie (Libby) Hood.


A Celebration of Life Visitation & Service will be held at Living Proof Church in Paola, Kansas on September 25th.

The Visitation will be from 9:00 a.m.-10:00 a.m. and The Celebration of Life Service will begin right at 10:00 a.m.-11:00 a.m. A private family burial will follow the service at The Somerset Cemetery in Paola, Kansas.

Memorial Contributions

In lieu of flowers, Karen’s family have set up a memorial scholarship to give a ‘Hand Up’ to those in need throughout both her community and in Guatemala. Their hopes are that this memorial will be a blessings to other families for many years to come. https://www.fortheloveofmateo.com/karen-loar-helping-hand-memorial-scholarship.

1 Comment

  1. Robert Caffarelli on September 21, 2021 at 9:43 am

    From all accounts your Mother was an incredible person that lead by example and had a profound and positive influence on the lives of so many. Know that her love and spirit are everlasting through her kids, grandkids and so many others with whom she graced. With deepest sympathy and condolences, Bob Caffarelli

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