In the fundraising world of meetings and social gatherings, where first impressions are the norm, it’s always gratifying to encounter a person who exudes beauty both inside and out. Such was Karen Settle. While Karen was not part of the non-stop fundraising herd, she made her mark when she took on a project. It was just two years ago that KidneyTexas Inc. President Jolie Humphrey arranged to have Karen chair the KidneyTexas Runway Report at Brook Hollow. Karen appreciated the cause because both she and her college sweetheart/husband Jay Settle had undergone kidney surgery.
In typical Karen style, she opened her University Park home for an appreciation party. As reported, the house was not the biggest one, the newest one nor the oldest one in the neighborhood, but, like Karen, it immediately made folks feel right at home. Sure, there was the “two-story, red barn in the backyard along with a pool and putting green,” but it was the type of place that made you want to return for a longer stay. It was the perfect reflection of Karen.
But Karen’s dazzling looks and genteel style belied her talents. Having earned her BBA from Texas Tech University, a master’s degree from SMU in psychology and a PhD in Counseling Psychology from UNT, she worked at SMU. During her 25 years at SMU, she served as Director of the Counseling and Testing Center and as a Licensed Psychologist for the SMU Memorial Health Center until her retirement in 2013. In recognition of her efforts, she was awarded the Distinguished Psychologist Award from the Dallas Psychological Association.
In addition to her various leadership roles in the world of psychology, she was a founding member and past president of the Dallas Children’s Advocacy Center League and a member of the Dallas Symphony Orchestra League.
Despite the professional and community accomplishments, family and friends were still the priority in Karen’s life. From her meeting Jay on a collegiate tour of Europe and that first kiss on a bench in Rome, raising two sons (Blake Settle and Trey Settle), and becoming a grandmother to growing her collection of friends, Karen’s life was the type others envy.
Still Karen’s life was not without loss. She suffered the incredible grief of a parent whose child has died, when Trey was killed in a car wreck in 2011.
As Jolie put it, “I’ve only known her well for four years, but we became very close quickly. We spent every week together planning the KidneyTexas luncheon and spent more time after that. Karen was smart, had a quick sense of humor, loved playing jokes, loved photography and she was pretty good at it herself. She had a high appreciation for art and loved entertaining. Karen was also a fashionista. Karen and Jay loved to travel. In fact they went on a river cruise in Europe this past May.
“Karen battled with her health for many years and things became worse the past two years. She never dwelled on it. Karen loved life, laughed often, was filled with joy and loved the Lord. I truly loved Karen like a sister. We connected instantly. She has many friends from many circles. People instantly liked her when they met her. She was very special.”
According to KidneyTexas Inc. President Anna Bland Aston, “KidneyTexas Inc. has so many warm and wonderful members who enjoy each other and support each other. We lost a true treasure of a friend in Karen Settle’s death this Tuesday, August 30.”
A memorial service will be held at Park Cities Baptist Church on Friday, September, 2, at 1 p.m.