SHORT GAP, W.Va. Karen Ann Winterstine McKenzie, 49, of Short Gap, died Thursday, Jan. 4, 2018, at WMHS Frostburg Nursing & Rehabilitation Center after an incredibly well fought battle against breast and lung cancer. While surrounded by numerous family, friends, and coworkers in the weeks prior to her death, her courageous final breaths were taken while being embraced and comforted by her sons.
Karen was born on Aug. 9, 1968, in Washington, D.C., to Shirley Lloyd and the late Earl Winterstine. A graduate of Frankfort High School, Karen pursued a career in administration mostly working for area hospitals. Karen's final position was working in the ER with Western Maryland Regional Medical Center. Leaving her position at the hospital was extremely difficult for Karen, she mentioned many times that the team of people she worked for were the best of her career. The family is grateful to have had the opportunity see the relationships first hand, but the career she was most proud of was being a mom.
After being left as a single parent following a divorce when her youngest child was only 6 months old, Karen amazingly produced many alter-egos like Frankfort Falcons Football mom and WVU College mom. She leaves behind her two sons, Matthew, Morgantown, and Paul, Cumberland; as well as two step-daughters, Amy and Adella, Cumberland. Karen also leaves behind three siblings, Pam Norris, LaVale, Daniel Winterstine (Jan), Short Gap, and Mark "Fred" Winterstine (Kim), Ridgeley, and special cousins who were as close as siblings, John Mauck (Lauren), Martinsburg, and Carolyn Hochard (Bill), Short Gap. In addition, she leaves many grandchildren, nieces, nephews, cousins, and friends.
Karen is preceded in death by her father, Earl Winterstine; her brother, Joseph Winterstine and her grandson, Kairelle McKenzie.
During her final days, she hand wrote numerous journals for her friends and relatives filled with stories and recipes with room for them to add their personal stories about Karen. She fought her battle with strength, courage, and positivity. The family would like to personally thank her coworkers at Western Maryland Regional Medical Center for their continuous attention and concern even beyond Karen's employment with the company. Finally, the family would like to thank the staff at WMHS Frostburg Nursing & Rehabilitation Center for the level care and empathy they showed toward Karen and the family during this difficult time. The family truly believes that her time in the facility extended the value of her life that could not be done in other settings. They are all amazing.
The family will be holding a church service on Thursday Jan. 11, 2018, from 6 to 7:30 p.m. at Wesley Chapel United Methodist Church in Short Gap. They will also be holding a celebration of life at the Fort Ashby VFW on Saturday, Jan. 13, 2018, from 1 to 5 p.m.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to: the Frankfort High School football boosters 393 Falcon Way, Ridgeley, WV 26753; Energy Express at 251 1/2 West Piedmont St., Keyser, WV; Scarpelli Funeral Home on Virginia Ave. in Cumberland, to help with cremation costs.
Published on January 9, 2018