Obituary of Karen Rickel
Karen Lynn Rickel, 65, Marion, received her eternal reward on Tuesday, July 31, 2018, when she passed away at 9:15 a.m. at Colonial Oaks Health Care Center.
Born on February 21, 1953, to a pastor and his wife, Rev. James and Carolyn (Smith) Rickel, Karen grew up immersed in the Christian faith. As an 18-year-old student at Camp Sychar (Ohio), she told the Lord she was willing to go to a mission field but did not feel God calling her. At least not yet anyway.
Karen pursued a degree in nursing at Samaritan Hospital School of Nursing (Ohio), where she completed a three-year RN program. Then, while working at a hospital in Circleville, she took Bible courses at Circleville Bible College (now Ohio Christian University). After a series of life-changing events, Karen applied with World Gospel Mission to be a missionary to any foreign field. Karen was appointed to serve in Haiti, where she cared for people with tropical diseases, broken bones, open wounds, and complicated pregnancies.
After returning to the States, Karen perceived the Lord telling her not to go back to Haiti. In 1985, she began serving in Roatan, Honduras, where she ministered to the Garifuna people as the first full-time nurse at a new clinic. She worked in that clinic for nearly 20 years. She also taught Sunday School classes and participated in activities with the youth and women’s groups. Karen’s depth of love led her to take in an orphaned boy from Honduras, whom she helped raise.
“The thing that kept me there in the hard times was that God had called me there,” Karen shared. She faithfully followed each new step in her preparation and calling. Due to health reasons, Karen returned to the States and spent her final days at Colonial Oaks.
Karen will also be remembered for her volunteer service at the Crisis Pregnancy Center in Marion and for how much she loved to read.
She is survived by her siblings, Tim (Laurie) Rickel, Marion, Peggy (Bob) Bushong, Jonesboro, Pat (Paul) Sebree, Marion, Becky (Bruce) Crowell, Vancouver, Washington, and Beth (Larry) Sutherland, Lake Oswego, Oregon; her foster son, Hendry Efrain Rayes Bernardez; and several nieces and nephews, Elizabeth (Jason) Ewer, Jonesboro, Rebecca (Daniel) Swartz, Canton, Ohio, Alisa Rickel, Marion, Nathan (Emily) Sutherland, Columbus, Ohio, Hannah Sutherland, Lake Oswego, Oregon, and Joshua Crowell, Vancouver, Washington; and several great-nieces and great-nephews.
Her parents, James and Carolyn Rickel, preceded her in death.
The family will receive visitors from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. with Karen’s funeral service beginning at 1 p.m. on Friday, August 3, 2018, at Needham-Storey-Wampner Funeral Service, North Chapel, 1341 N. Baldwin Ave., Marion, IN.
“His master replied, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master’s happiness!’” (Matthew 25:23 NIV)
Memorial contributions may be directed to World Gospel Mission, P.O. Box 948, Marion, IN 46952-0948.
Online condolences may be made at www.nswcares.com.
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