Karen was born in Memphis, TN and was the eldest of four children born to an ex-serviceman from Marlow, OK and his Australian war bride. She grew up in Lawton, OK and attended St. Mary’s Catholic School, graduating in 1965. Karen married her husband of 45 years, Jimmy Dean. They moved to OKC, and several years later, they welcomed their daughter, “Missy”. Their home was always open to friends and family, and Karen made sure no guest ever left hungry.
Karen spent her 42-year career as a Neuropsych Technician, first in the Department of Psychiatry & Behavioral Sciences at OUHSC, then Jim Thorpe Rehabilitation Center, and finally NeuroResources, administering tests to patients with cognitive dysfunction. Karen’s compassion was obvious, once commenting on her profession that it was a “sobering, touching, and humbling experience.” While she truly enjoyed her work, Karen also found pleasure in retirement, which gave her more time for one of her greatest joys, being with her granddaughter, Michaela, with whom she became best buddies.
Karen was preceded in death by her husband, James Dale Dean, parents, Iris Joyce and J.T. “Sleepy” Wright; brothers, Tony and Nick Wright; nephew, Keegan Wright; paternal grandparents, Maggie and James T. Wright, Sr., Marlow, OK; maternal grandparents, Eleanor and Hugh Ivison Helm, Sydney, Australia.
Karen is survived by her daughter Melissa Ann Cullers and husband Michael Cullers, OKC; sister, Wendy Tatroult, Lawton, OK; brother-in-law, Kenneth Dean, Odessa, TX; sister-in-law, Punkin Wright, Lawton, OK; granddaughter Michaela Ann Cullers; aunts and an uncle; nieces and nephews; dear cousins; and a lifetime of valued friends.
Memorial Contributions may be made in Karen’s name to:
St. Mary’s Catholic School, 611 SW A Ave., Lawton, OK 73501
Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation, 825 NE 13th St., Oklahoma City, OK 73104
Viewing will be available Thursday, May 9 from 9am-9pm with the family present 6pm- 8pm at Smith & Kernke, and a Funeral Service will be Friday, May 10 at 10 a.m. at Smith & Kernke North May Chapel. Burial will be Friday, May 10 at 3pm at Sunset Memorial Gardens in Lawton, Oklahoma.