Karen Ruth (Yackel) Seymour of Liverpool, New York, died peacefully and surrounded by family at her home in Fairport on February 12, 2021. She was 77.
Karen taught second grade at Roxboro Road Elementary School in North Syracuse for more than 30 years. She began her career in 1967, teaching at Pitcher Hill and Bessie Riodan elementary schools before settling at Roxboro Road, where she stayed until she retired in 2004.
Karen’s dedication and innovative spirit left a lasting impact on the school community. In the 1980s, she helped integrate computers into the school, taking on the role of computer technician when the technology was an exciting new frontier. She continually studied new teaching methods to ensure her second graders received the highest quality education. She worked late—her colleagues recall that the night custodian sometimes sent her home at 11 p.m. when he locked up. At home, she often handmade elaborate crafts to use in her lessons. After retiring, she returned to Roxboro Road as a volunteer, reading Beatrix Potter books to the students. She often brought puppets, to the children’s delight.
Karen loved to travel and spent her retirement seeing the world. She has visited six continents and more than 20 countries, including Cambodia, Chile, Egypt, England, Japan, New Zealand, Sweden, and Zambia. Most of her trips were small group tours with Odysseys Unlimited; she forged friendships with many fellow travelers over the years. She always returned home with photos, stories, and cherished gifts for her family.
Karen was born in Syracuse in 1944, the first of her parents’ four children. She graduated from North Syracuse Central High School in 1962 and earned her bachelor’s degree from SUNY Brockport in 1966. Together with her husband, William Seymour, Karen had a son, David, in 1967. Karen and William later divorced.
Karen is survived by her siblings: Kenneth and his wife, Mary Yackel, Ron and his wife, Lynne Yackel, and Marilyn and her husband, Edmund Eaves; her nieces and nephews: Christina (Michael) Schroeder, Ryan (Julie) Yackel, Jessica (David) Weibel, Alison (Randall) Stauffer and Abigail (Theresa Malatesta) Eaves; her great nieces and nephews; and her former husband, William Seymour. Karen is predeceased by her parents, Raymond and Ruth (Nuffer) Yackel, and her son, David Seymour.
Calling hours are on Wed., Feb. 24, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Fergerson Funeral Home, 215 S. Main St., North Syracuse. Private services will follow at 1 p.m. Friends and family are invited to stream live video of the service at fergersonfuneralhome.com/live-cam. The burial will follow at Oakwood Cemetery in Syracuse.
Donations may be made to the Cure Alzheimer’s Fund via the link below or by mail (follow these instructions to donate by mail).