Karen Sue Ondak, age 68, formerly of Powell, passed away Thursday, Aug. 20, in Tulsa, Oklahoma, with her daughters at her side.
Karen was born Jan. 7, 1952, at War Memorial Hospital in Powell. She was the middle of three children born to Imogene and Glennis Montgomery. Her parents won a plot of farmland in Powell through a raffle. Her family homesteaded the land and grew their farm over time.
The family resided in a barrack repurposed from the World War II Japanese internment. Karen grew up working the land. She talked of running tractors, setting irrigation, and controlled burns.
Her love of pets started young, and she often spoke of her first cat, Goldilocks. With many strays on the farm, Goldilocks was the only cat allowed vaccinations and who received the title of “pet.”
After graduating high school, she entered the local college on scholarship and earned a Bachelor of Nursing degree. She worked locally in Cody and then Billings, Montana. When her parents decided to retire from farming, the family made the long move to Oklahoma City.
She had a passion for reading, gardening, and sewing. She loved the Lord and found joy in music. She lived every day with a humble servant’s heart and the love and compassion of a devoted Christian.
Karen had a relentless drive to help those around her and never retreated from hard work. She would come to work over 40 years with Mercy Hospital of Oklahoma City as a registered nurse touching many individuals’ lives. Her career defined her purpose on earth.
She was first diagnosed with breast cancer at the age of 59, but still returned to work after treatment. She only retired from nursing after the cancer returned in 2016.
Karen was a wonderful mother to three daughters, Susan and twins Emily and Michelle. She was widowed and raised them singlehandedly for much of their lives. Her daughters were her joy in life. Karen kept a small circle of those close to her, but those who were in her life meant so much to her. Karen was also a mother to many cats and dogs over the years.
She loved her land in Deer Creek, Oklahoma, but would spend her last months in Tulsa, Oklahoma, in her daughter’s home. She passed while on hospice care, with her family surrounding her.
She is survived by her daughters, Emily Ondak (Edmond, Oklahoma), Michelle Ondak (Tulsa, Oklahoma) and Susan Ondak (Sacramento, California). She is also survived by her niece Christine Cashatt (Colorado Springs, Colorado).
Services will be at Sanders Funeral Services, 124 E. Broadway Ave. Kingfisher, Oklahoma, on Wednesday, Aug. 26, at 2 p.m. In lieu of flowers, please consider contributing to the ASPCA or your favorite local pet rescue.