Karen Baele (October 08, 1939 - December 21, 2022)

In loving memory of
Karen Baele
  • October 08, 1939
  • -
  • December 21, 2022

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Karen Baele of Mission Viejo, CA passed away peacefully at the age of 83, embraced and surrounded by her dearly beloved family. She is survived by five children – Bo, Tim, Linda, Mike, and Pat; their spouses – Karen, Tracey, and Veronica; and five grandchildren – Christine, Drew, Allie, Kaitlyn, and Ryan.

Originally born in Chicago, IL, Karen moved to Southern California in 1943 with her parents, Raymond & Eileen, and sister, Lois. She had many fond memories of riding her bike and swimming in Balboa harbor with her best friend, Tippy “the wonder dog.” And after attending Santa Ana High School, it was only a matter of time before she met the love of her life.

Karen and Robert Maurice Baele—better known to all as “Bob”—crossed paths for the first time at a Christmas party in 1956. The two officially met face-to-face just days later, on New Year’s Eve (at another party, no less!). Their romance quickly blossomed and in July of 1957, Karen & Bob were married in Long Beach, CA. Having relocated often during her childhood, Karen wanted more than anything to provide a stable home for her family; accordingly, the newlyweds settled in Garden Grove near Karen’s mother and sister, where they would live for nearly the next 50 years.

In their first twelve years of marriage, Karen & Bob welcomed and raised 5 extraordinary children. Of the occupations she has held in her lifetime, Karen would say that being an all-in-one wife, mother, and homemaker was the most difficult yet rewarding. Bob tended to agree, constantly remarking that the best $2 he’d ever spent was on their marriage license, and citing her as the inspiration for one of his favorite old adages: “The husband makes the living, but the wife makes the living worthwhile.”

Karen found even greater fulfillment as a grandmother upon the births of her first grandchildren—Christine, Drew, and Allie—in the early 1990s. She relished every opportunity to spoil her trio of “lovebugs”: bringing them on trips around the country, feeding the ducks together at Disneyland, and sharing hot fudge sundaes during the old pirate show at Treasure Island. Karen’s joy grew exponentially when her last two grandchildren, Kaitlyn & Ryan, were born in the early 2000s; she and Bob returned to Chicago often to visit them for birthdays, baptisms, first communions, Grandparent’s Day, sporting events, dance recitals, graduations, and more.

In her later years, Karen enjoyed playing bingo with her girlfriends, chatting with neighbors at the community pool, bankrupting keno machines in Vegas, and spending time & playing games with her loved ones. Family meant the world to her, but she truthfully considered everyone she knew part of her extended family, and in fact shared the very same love for them. By all she adored, Karen will be memorialized for her endearing smile, enduring kindness, hearty laugh, “Scrappy” disposition, and aptitude for being the life of every party.

Karen Baele will be interred at Good Shepherd Cemetery in Huntington Beach, CA on Friday, February 10, 2023 at 2:30 PM. A Celebration of Life in her honor will be held shortly thereafter from 4pm-9pm, at the Harbor-side “Balboa” Pavilion in Newport Beach, 400 Main St, Newport Beach, CA 92661. Additional information can be found at www.facebook.com/groups/kareneileenbaele


Harbor-side “Balboa” Pavilion
400 Main St, Newport Beach, CA 92661
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Date & Time:
February 10, 2023 at 4:00 PM

Good Shepherd Cemetery
8301 Talbert Ave, Huntington Beach, CA 92647
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  1. Liz Kotick says:
    31 Jan 2023
    To the family of Karen Baele
    My Husband, Ned & I were neighbors of Bob & Karen on El Greco in Mission Viejo. They were very good neighbors, very friendly & pleasant to talk to. Bob has been missed since his passing & now Karen will be missed in our neighborhood.
    May the love & support of your family & friends help you get thru this difficult time.
    Our sincerest condolences to you all.
    Ned & Liz Kotick
    23315 El Greco, Mission Viejo

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