Karen Renee Krupar (Wingerd) died peacefully December 4, 2023 in Lakewood, Colorado. She was 80 years old. Karen was an achiever whose energy and ideas promoted and prompted others to accomplish great things.
Born September 7, 1943 in Hastings, Nebraska, to W. Sheldon Wingerd and M. Margaret Turner, Karen was raised with her three sisters, Marilyn, Michele, and Linda. Education was valued in the home, and Karen was awarded a prestigious national fellowship and completed her Ph.D. in Communications from the University of Denver in 1967 at age 24. She worked as a professor for 48 years at multiple institutions spanning Washington, DC to Washington state, among them, the University of Northern Colorado in Greeley and Washington State University Tri-Cities. She retired from Metropolitan State University of Denver as Professor Emeritus in Communication Arts and Sciences in 2013. A generous and dedicated public educator, Karen fostered teaching excellence, built peer mentoring programs, and consulted on the Motivation of Human Resources.
She met Joseph J. Krupar Jr. in graduate school in Denver, Colorado, and they married June 14, 1969 in Greeley, Colorado. A memorial bench at Standley Lake Park in Lakewood celebrates their 50th anniversary in 2019. Karen took great pride in her children, who have continued her legacy as university professors.
True to her roots in a family of women artists and creatives, Karen loved arts and crafts, and made many artistic contributions to her communities, churches, and schools. Patron of theater and musicals, she loved to sing and harmonize, and created artistic works in mediums ranging from drawing to basketry. A very active person, she had a unique style in dress and decor; she loved things that were bright and sweet. She was kind, and fond of animals.
She is survived by her husband Joseph Krupar, son Jason Krupar, daughter Shiloh Krupar, grandson Jacob Krupar, sisters Linda Wingerd-Graham and M. Michele Thorp, numerous nieces and nephews and their children, and an abundance of friends and former students whose lives she positively impacted. A visionary change-maker and committed teacher-mentor, Karen will continue to inspire hearts and minds.
A Funeral Mass honoring Karen's life will be held on Thursday, December 21, 2023 at 11:00AM at St. Jude Catholic Church, 9405 West Florida Ave., Lakewood, Colorado.
Please share your memories of Karen and condolences with her family by signing the guest book below.