“[…] as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.” -Joshua 24:15
Karen (Beth) Combs Chisholm, 61, of Spring Hill, Kansas, passed away peacefully on Sunday, September 12, 2021, at Olathe Medical Center, surrounded by her family.
Karen was born May 20, 1960, to James D. and Valeria Combs, at St Mary’s Hospital in Centralia, Illinois. She grew up in Crossville, Illinois, graduating from Crossville High School in 1978. That summer she moved in with her older sister in Houma, Louisiana. There she met her husband of 40 years, Tommy Chisholm. God united Tom and Karen in marriage on August 8, 1981, and from this union He blessed them with four children.
Karen spent the first four years of her married life in Houma, Shreveport, and Memphis. In 1985 when Tom started his business, they moved to Overland Park, Kansas. Karen was a country girl at heart and wanted to give her children the space and setting to raise them, so in 1997 they moved to a few acres in rural Johnson County.
Throughout her life three basic tenants governed all that was important to her: Glorifying God, living a spirit-led life, and helping others in need. Family was paramount to Karen. She cherished raising her children, supporting her husband, and caring for her family and others.
Karen placed her trust in God. She was a member of the church of Christ since her youth. In 1986, God began to mold her using Mildred Swiggart, Doris Durham, and Trudy Martin as mentors in children’s education at Red Bridge Church of Christ. These dedicated women taught Karen how to teach, develop curriculum, and use creative techniques to capture the hearts of children. In 1993, God led the Chisholms to the 151st Street Church of Christ. Here He matured Karen’s role to become a mentor in children’s education, encouraging and teaching the next generation of mothers for many years.
Karen had a passion for the Lord’s work in Ghana, West Africa. It was her character to open, not just her home, but also her heart to welcome her African brothers and sisters. Her home was then used as a home base for Heritage Bible Institute, Village of Hope, Rural Water Development Program, and COSTECH School while they were here. There were many needs for the work being done in Ghana, so Karen was always on the hunt to satisfy them by sending new clothes and supplies to Ghana.
In recent years, God blessed Karen with a huge responsibility—one for which she was well suited and prepared. In 2014, her mom and dad moved in to live with her and Tom. As her parents needs increased, Karen’s role transitioned from daughter to mother. Her mom died unexpectantly in 2016. Karen continued caring for her dad until this past May. Karen was holding his hand as he passed away in her home at the age of 95. Karen treasured these years with her parents.
Surviving Karen are her husband of 40 years, Tommy; children Jennifer (Shelby) Helms, Steven (Jacinda) Chisholm, Michael (Rebecca) Chisholm and John Chisholm; siblings Kathy (Mark) Helpingstine, Steve Combs, Jeffery (Deanna) Combs and Robin Combs; grandchildren; Sadie Helms, Audrey Helms, Molly Helms, Dierks Helms, Jared Chisholm, Caleb Chisholm, Micah Chisholm, Kenzie Chisholm, and another unborn Chisholm; and numerous nieces and nephews. Karen was preceded in death by her parents and her brother James Donald Combs, Jr.
The family will receive guests for a visitation from 6:00-8:00pm on Sunday, September 19, 2021, at Penwell Gabel's Olathe Chapel. The funeral service will be held at 10:00am on Monday, September 20, 2021, at 151st Street Church of Christ, the service can be lived streamed by clicking on the following link Live Stream
In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be made to Ghana West Africa Missions. Donations can be made online by clicking on the following link https://www.gwam.org
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