Words cannot begin to express the vibrance and spirit of Karen Marie Gray. The world lost a sarcastic, loving, witty young woman on December 5, 2022, when she closed her beautiful blue eyes for the last time.
Since she was 12, Karen suffered from debilitating vestibular migraines, which caused her such bad vertigo and pain that she called them drop attacks, but she fought through them to live an active life full of laughter and love. She attended Penn State, the Behrend College, and studied business and marketing. Her quirky sense of humor and incisive mind captivated family, friends, and coworkers alike. A talented employee for Spectrum, she was their top recruiter.
Karen and her fiancée, Brian Colvin, delighted in working on their century-old home in Erie and playing with their golden retriever, Tucker. Brian was by Karen’s side for over eight years, taking amazing care of her through her illness. They met at friends Brittany and Russell’s stag and drag, and Brian found the courage to ask her on a date. Her mom credits Brian’s steadfast love and unwavering devotion with helping Karen to find her voice and to blossom into the amazing person she became. Her brother Dan was proud to give Brian his stamp of brotherly approval.
Karen was the proud and protective older sister of David and Dan, who both adored her. She cared for her brothers through their struggles with cancer and was the strength that kept her mom going when they died. As a child, she loved taekwondo at Master Park’s with David and her mom. She would chase her brothers through long summer afternoons and evenings in innumerable childhood games of tag, hide-and-seek (with squirt guns!) and kick-the-can. She enthralled them with creative stories and enlisted them as talent (sometimes unwillingly—sorry, Dan!) to act out her many dramatic plays.
Brittany and Cassie, Karen’s best friends, loved to hang out and plan adventures with her. Brittany said, “Karen’s passion, love, and kindness were evident in everything she did. She never took shortcuts in life, whether it was work, friends, or family. She loved hard and hugged harder!” Anyone on the receiving end of one of Karen’s hugs would agree.
Karen’s friend, Kdogg, agreed, “She was always there for me when people would make fun of me because of my disability. Now she is my guardian angel in heaven.” Others share similar stories of her fierce advocacy and friendship.
Karen was a dedicated dog person, for certain. She and her first dog, Maxie, were inseparable from Karen’s birth. They would curl together to sleep, and Karen learned to walk by holding onto Maxie—toddling beside her. She nurtured that bond with dogs throughout her life, loving Molly, Tank, Ein, and others. She would bring Tucker over to her mom’s house to cavort with Dan’s corgi, Mila, almost every day.
Karen and her mom spent weekends walking together in beautiful Glenwood Park and other Erie locations. Like her whole family, Karen took joy in music. Her mom fondly remembers her daily singing and playing all the songs from Cats, the musical (all day long!), and movement of any kind. Karen loved yoga and dancing to “All the Things She Said,” her favorite song by t.A.T.u. We are certain she is singing, laughing and dancing with her brothers and her angel soulmate, Ali Fuhrman, this moment, now that all their pain and struggles have ceased. They were and are inseparable.
Karen leaves behind her mother and best friend, Mary Golba and fiancé Brian Colvin, and her father Bob Gray who shared his deep love of sailing with her; as well as her wonderful Nonna, Anita Golba; uncles Andy, Greg, Jamie, Paul, and Joe; aunts Denise, Margot, Kerry; and many loving cousins. She will be forever missed by her beloved friends Brittany Skrzypczak and Cassie Brennan Joint.
Arrangements are under the care of Burton Quinn Scott Cremation and Funeral Services West Ridge: 3801 West 26th Street Erie, PA 16506. Visiting hours for Karen will be held from 4 to 7 p.m. on Monday, December 12, 2022, and her funeral will be held in the chapel at the same location at 10:00 a.m., on Tuesday, December 13, 2022. Private Burial in Gate of Heaven Cemetery.
Please visit www.forevermissed.com/karen-marie-gray to share condolences and memories of Karen. Memorials in Karen’s name can be made to Erie Humane Society 2407 Zimmerly Rd, Erie, PA 16506 or Anna Shelter 1555 E 10th St, Erie, PA 16511.
Send condolences at www.BurtonQuinnScott.com.