At 12:46 pm, on April 7, 2009, our third child, Kari Elizabeth Schoondyke, passed through the gates of heaven. She was surrounded by her family, while held in her mother’s arms.
Despite her short life, Kari charmed everyone in her world. Using her beautiful smile, her awkwardly enthusiastic wave and with her magnificent blue eyes. She demonstrated a passionate love for life. She could charm her father into smiles and laughter even after he would return home from the longest hardest day at work, not an easy feat. She kept me laughing because without fail, she would engage each person everywhere we went. As we were leaving, I would frequently have to pause to allow Kari to say goodbye to all of her new friends. This was the case at the grocery store, the doctor’s office, the restaurant, and even at an inner-city laundry-mat in downtown Philadelphia. Her impact was so strong that she even had her brother and sister arguing over who would hold her, feed her, or sit with her as she enjoyed her favorite TV show, Blues Clues. It is no surprise to us that she has touched so many people in so many different ways. Although we will miss her so, so much each and every day, we will take comfort in realizing the tremendous impact she has made in just 7 short months. As we continue to mourn our loss, our family waits patiently to discover where Kari’s influence will lead us next. We invite you to come along for the ride. We think it will be magnificent. You can follow along at karisheartfoundation.org.
Kari is survived by her father and mother, Jeff and Jennifer; her brother, Jeffrey, sister Kati, and dog Roxie. She is the granddaughter of Gary and Sandy Schoondyke of Blountville, Tennessee and Arthur and Louise McMillen of Bixby, Oklahoma. She is the niece of Steve and Sheryl McIntire and Russ and Lori McCuddin, of East Moline Illinois, Mike and Shelly Powell of Marietta, Georgia and Duane and Libby Coleman of Broken Arrow, Oklahoma. Her cousins include Ryan and Kaylee McIntire, Collin and Macie McCuddin, Drew Powell, Lane Duchan and Marissa and Samuel Pullman.
Kari’s visitation will be from 2 to 5 pm at Tri-Cities Baptist Church in Gray on Easter Sunday, April 12th 2009. Her funeral service will immediately follow the receiving of guests and friends. She will be laid to rest at a graveside service at 11:00 am Monday, April 13th at Monte Vista Memorial Park in Johnson City, Tennessee. Friends and family are asked to meet at the cemetery at 10:50 AM.
In lieu of flowers we request donations be made to Kari’s Heart foundation. You can donate on line at www.karisheartfoundation.org
or by mail at Kari’s Heart Foundation, PO Box 6165, Johnson City, TN 37602.
The Entire Schoondyke Family
Arrangements for the Schoondyke family are in the care of Tetrick Funeral Services, 3001 Peoples St., Johnson City, TN 37604. (423) 610-7171