Karen Liane Thornbrue was born March 24, 1948 in Valparaiso, Indiana to Gordon & Bernice Small. She grew up in Santee, California and graduated from Santana High School in 1966. Karen married her friend and high school sweetheart, Ronald Lee Thornbrue on August 24, 1967. She enjoyed working in her yard, thrift store shopping, singing karaoke and spending time with her family. Karen loved children and worked as a preschool teacher off and on throughout her life. She also worked as a tax preparer, bartender, and assisted at a hair salon for many years.
Karen’s most loved role was that of mother, grandmother and great grandmother. She was an amazing cook and started a tradition when her grandchildren were small allowing each family member celebrating a birthday to choose their birthday dinner and dessert. Each of us looked forward to this every year. Karen adored her friends and enjoyed her time with the Highland Red Hat Society. She had a generous nature and a way of making everyone around her feel special by celebrating their uniqueness. Karen’s health deteriorated after having a stroke in March. She passed away on Wednesday, Nov 20, 2019 with her precious family at her side. We would like to give special thanks to Good Shepherd Hospice for providing such compassion during this difficult time and Demuth Funeral Home & Cremation Society for their services.
Karen was preceded in death by her father Gordon Small of Yucaipa, California. She is survived by her mother Bernice Shoun of Susanville, California; her husband Ronald Thornbrue of the home in Guthrie, Oklahoma; her daughter Shanna Douglass-Cabe and husband Bryan of Guthrie, Oklahoma; her granddaughter Shaylee Johnson and husband Travis of Guthrie, Oklahoma; her grandson Cory Douglass and fiancé Krissy Hitch of Stillwater, Oklahoma; her great grandchildren Braxton & Harper Johnson of Guthrie, Oklahoma; a brother Randy Gutman and wife Carol of Chester, California; her sisters, Lori Brigham and husband Ralph of Chester, California, Denise Small-Corr and husband Bill of Yucaipa, California, Dawn Small-Swinson and husband Craig of Knoxville, Tennessee; and many other loves ones. Karen’s memorial is scheduled for Saturday December 28, 2019 at 2:00 pm at the Guthrie VFW. We plan to celebrate her beautiful life with all who loved her.