Karen A. Hoskins

Sunday, April 07, 2019

STOCKBRIDGE, VT — Karen Ann Florek Hoskins of Stockbridge, VT, and Bardstown, KY, died of heart failure on January 16, 2019 at the University of Nebraska Medical Center in Omaha, Nebraska. She was visiting Omaha to celebrate Christmas and her grandson Joseph’s birthday with all the family.

Karen was reared in Watertown, MN, where she learned hard work and responsibility from her parents. She attended the College of St. Teresa in Winona, MN. During her Junior year she attended Spelman College in Atlanta on an exchange program between the two colleges. After graduation, she and a friend from that program moved to Atlanta.

While working at a residential facility for the developmentally disabled, she met and married co-worker Alan Hoskins. They toured the USA and Canada in their VW bus in 1972 and settled in Vermont. They found jobs at the Brandon Training School where Karen worked in the academic school. In 1974 Karen and Alan moved to Stockbridge, VT, where they built a home from lumber cut on the land. Karen mixed many yards of concrete for the foundation while caring for toddler Rachael. They all lived in an old school bus during construction. Denise was born there March 19th , only 5 days after they moved into the unfinished structure.

After a few years as full-time mother to Rachael and Denise, Karen returned to teaching. She first worked in Bethel Elementary School as a Title I Reading teacher. While working she earned her master’s degree as a Special Education Consulting Teacher from St. Michael’s College in Colchester, Vermont. She taught 30 years in Elementary, Middle and High Schools around Vermont and Kentucky. She was gifted at understanding the needs of her students and guiding them to be successful.

Karen retired from teaching in 2005 and devoted more time to her many flower and vegetable gardens and maintaining the lawn and landscaping of their homes. She qualified as a Master Gardener with the UK Extension Service in Bardstown, KY. She loved to travel and had a long list of places she hoped to see in the USA and around the world. She went as often as possible to spend time with grandson, Joseph, in Omaha, NE, and granddaughter, Liliana, in Arlington, MA. She was devoted to them and did all she could to enrich their lives.

She was preceded in death by her parents, Leo and Rufina Florek of Watertown, MN, and her sister, Mary Helen Swartzer, of Buffalo. MN. She is survived by her husband, Alan; her daughters, Rachael Rice and Denise Hoskins; two grandchildren, Joseph Rice III and Liliana Amsbaugh; and her brother, Kevin Florek and sister Jann Florek, plus numerous nieces and nephews.

A memorial service will be held 11:00 AM on April 13, 2019 at Gaysville Community Church in Stockbridge/Gaysville, VT. Following the service there will be a pot-luck meal at the Stockbridge Elementary School. If you wish to attend, please bring a dish to share.

In lieu of flowers her friends are encouraged to make donations in her memory to organizations that support girls and women, that protect the environment, or to public TV or Radio. Suggestions include Girl Scouts, USA, and the Audubon Society.