Karen Ward ’66 Jechoutek
Karen Margaret Jechoutek, of Midland, passed away June 23, 2020, in Austria.
She was born May 19, 1944, in Marquette, Mich. to Gilbert and Alice (Peterson) Ward, and soon after moved to Midland with her family. Early on, she accompanied her family on trips to Europe to visit Swedish and British relatives. She attended Hope College, Stevens College, John Carroll University, the American University Beirut, Lebanon, and the University of Vienna, Austria, getting her master’s degree in the process.
She taught high school in Cleveland, Ohio, and in Bangkok, Thailand. In 1973, she married Karl Jechoutek of Austria, and accompanied him to live in London, UK; Tanzania; Washington, DC; Bangkok; and Cape Town, South Africa. Her daughters were born in London and Washington, and grew up in international environments. At all their places of abode, she was involved in charitable activities, in the support of the underprivileged, in securing education for the poor, and in the work of the churches she attended. She traveled extensively in Asia, Europe and Southern Africa. After Karl’s retirement, she divided her time between Midland, Vienna and Cape Town.
Her passions included the design and enjoyment of gardens, Chinese painting and the furthering of education.
She is survived by her husband, Karl of Austria; her daughters, Christina and Maria of San Diego, Calif., and Midland; her grandson, John-Michael of San Diego; her brothers, Joe (Kay) of Florida and James of Midland; niece, Ginger; nephew, Timothy; and many cousins. Karen was preceded in death by her parents; and by her dear cousin, Carl.