Karen Joan Newendorp was born March 21, 1953, at the Mercy Hospital in Oskaloosa, Iowa. Her parents, Elmer Vernon and Albertha Joan (Ver Meer) Newendorp, were living on the Charles Newendorp family farm six miles east of Pella, Iowa, which is now 1675 Cordova Avenue, and continued to live there all their married life.
Karen began her elementary education at the Wheatgrow Country School. She continued her education at the Pella Community Schools in Pella and graduated from Pella High School with the Class of 1971 while working at the Dutch Buffet. Following her graduation, she began working at Central College in Pella. In January of 1974, she became the secretary at Garden & Associates in Oskaloosa, Iowa.
On August 28, 1974, a tragic automobile accident took the lives of her two brothers, Vernon Lee at the age of 22 years and Larry Dean at the age of 19 years. This had a lifelong impact on the lives of her parents, Elmer and Albertha, and Karen. This tragedy was then followed by the sudden unexpected death due to a silent heart attack of Elmer Newendorp on March 22, 1996, at the age of 66 years.
Karen met George (Skip) Bishop, III in 1980 and they began sharing their lives together. Karen continued working as the secretary at Garden & Associates until August of 2007. She then assisted her mother with her declining health due to mild dementia which rapidly advanced to severe Alzheimer’s Disease. Albertha eventually became a resident at the Jefferson Place in Pella where she passed away on September 4, 2008, at the age of 78 years.
As was true with her mother, Albertha, Karen always enjoyed doing volunteer work and eventually did volunteer work at Jefferson Place. She held a lifelong love for the farm where she enjoyed the livestock and her dog, Oscar, and will be remembered for her baking skills.
Karen found peace in listening to Alan Jackson’s music. She passed away on Thursday morning, October 25, 2012, at the Hospice of Pella Comfort House in Pella at the age of 59 years.
Family left to remember Karen’s life are her husband, Skip Bishop, whom she married on May 17, 2008, and his father, George L. Bishop of Ellston, Iowa, his sister, April Baldwin of New Virginia, Iowa and his brother, Brian Bishop of Des Moines, Iowa ; her sister-in-law, Sharla Brooks of Tracy, Iowa and her son, nephew Larry Vernon Newendorp and his wife, Traci, and their three children: Zachary, Riley and Taylor of Knoxville, Iowa; and the following Aunts and Uncles: Edith (Newendorp) Van Gorp of Pella, Marvin and Brenda Sue Ver Meer of Harvey, Iowa, Peter (Gladys Ver Meer) Van Soelen of Killduff, Iowa, and Betty (Gerald) Ver Meer of Phoenix, Arizona.
Karen was preceded in death by her parents and her two brothers; her mother-in-law, Barbara Bishop; her maternal grandparents, Anthony D. and Dena (Kloosterman) Ver Meer and Nellie S. (Booy- Spencer) Ver Meer, and her paternal grandparents, Charles and Carrie (Vroom) Newendorp; the following Aunts and Uncles: Gladys (Ver Meer) Van Soelen, Deloras (Ver Meer) Graff, Gerald D. (Skeeter) Ver Meer, Leona (Newendorp) and Gerald Meppelink, and Edward Van Gorp; and a cousin, Denise Graff. Karen was a member of the First Reformed Church in Pella, Iowa.
Funeral services were held on Monday, October 28, 2012 at the First Reformed Church in Pella. Arrangements were handled by Van Dyk – Duven Funeral Home.