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Karen Joyce Spessard died peacefully after a valiant battle with Alzheimer’s Disease. Her final months were spent in the loving care of Silverado staff and Hospice of the Valley. Having watched her own mother succumb to Alzheimer’s, Karen gave countless hours of her time participating in Mayo Clinic’s Alzheimer’s Research program. Her family wishes to thank Dr. Richard Caselli for his leadership in the research program. Karen’s unrealized dream was to see an end to Alzheimer’s Disease.

Karen leaves behind her soulmate and love of her life, Toby Spessard; her children: Geoffrey Butzine (Ellie), Gretchen Gooby (John), her beloved grandsons: Ethan Gooby and Noah Gooby; her siblings: Keith Thompson, Marolyn Johnson, Ken Thompson (Mary), Marlys Wickstom (Dennis), and many cherished nieces, nephews, cousins, and countless friends and admirers.

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Karen was well-known for her zest for style, sassy humor, and for making even the simplest plans extremely complex. Although detailed in their complexity, Karen’s planned escapades always served one purpose -- bringing people together. In her honor, please consider donating to Mayo Clinic’s program to study and research Alzheimer’s Disease.

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