Karen L. Bonds, of Jacksonville passed away on July 27, 2023 at the age of 69. She was born on September 22, 1953 in Little Rock, Arkansas. Karen is preceded in death by her husband Glenn Bonds of 37 years, both parents, and grandparents. Left to cherish her memory are her three daughters, Leigh Anne Anderson (Chuck), Leslie McKinney (Rich) and Heather Derby (Nick). She also leaves her siblings Norman Gresham, William Gresham (Sherry), Paula Gresham, her grandchildren William Anderson, Rebecca McKinney, Lily McKinney and Katie Croy (Adam), along with a host of nieces, nephews and friends.
Just a few of the many things she loved were spending time with her family, chocolate, being outdoors, planting flowers and roses, (chocolate), gardening, bird watching, (chocolate), campfires in the backyard, bacon, morning coffee with her cousin Ruth and chocolate. She would sometimes refer to herself as a choco-holic. She also loved music and travel and spoke frequently of destinations that she wished to experience. Those that knew her best knew that her strength went into everything she did. Being a mother, a wife, and a friend, were just a few of the things at which she excelled. She worked for the State of Arkansas for over 30 years. She held many titles. One of her titles included the FARS Supervisor for the State of Arkansas. Among her many duties were compiling data for federal grants, safety programs, and state officials to provide resources to Arkansans to make the highways a safer place to travel for everyone. Her contributions went beyond the state of Arkansas and she received several commendations for her work with other highway departments across the United States before she retired from the Arkansas State Police Highway Safety Office after 3 decades of service. She loved her local friends, and the ones that lived abroad that she met along the way when attending FARS workshops.
She reminded us often that she may not have always been right, but she was never wrong. Her friends and family that witnessed her sense of humor knew that it was something to behold. How she told a story with such great detail, that it may take more than one visit to paint the whole picture. There will not be another that possesses these qualities that made her special to us all, and will be just a few of the many reasons why we will smile as we remember her. She will be missed by so many.
Her parting words of wisdom to her family and loved ones gathered around her were, "Tomorrow is not promised to anyone, love on each other." Her gift to us all was a reminder that we shouldn't waste time on the things that will not enrich our lives and make us happy. To always show love and never take time, or each other for granted. While being tirelessly selfless she raised 3 beautiful daughters, showed them the true meaning of family and home with her husband of 37 years all the while furthering her education. With her strength, she did all of these things and more. She exemplified a work ethic and a tenacity that most could not hold a candle to, and still managed to laugh and love as often as possible.
At her request there will not be a funeral but a Celebration of Life on September 23, 2023 at the home of her daughter, Heather Derby.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, an organization close to her heart.