Karen Kay Isaacs

karen isaacs
Karen Kay Isaacs, a resident of Smithville, TX., passed away unexpectedly on Tuesday evening, April 18, 2016 at Resolute Health Hospital in New Braunfels at the age of 50. Karen was born on August 2, 1965 in El Paso to Morris Lynn Raley and Gwendolyn Lauchner Raley. Karen was a very loving and generous stay-at-home mom who was preceded in death by her loving husband, David Van Meerbeck, who passed away on January 5, 2015. Survivors include her children, Ashley Isaacs, Josey Blincoe and husband, Vaughan, Logan Van Meerbeck and Samantha Van Meerbeck; grandchildren, Raley Velasquez, Sylas and Leo Blincoe; parents, Lynn and Gwen Raley; brother, Darren Raley; sister, Cathy Williams, and nieces, Casey and Crystal Williams. Visitation will be held from 2:00 pm to 4:00 pm on Wednesday, April 20, 2016 at the Lux Funeral Home Chapel. Memorial services are scheduled for 11:00 AM on Saturday, April 23, 2016 at Grace Memorial Church, located at 3240 FM 725 in New Braunfels. We love you, Mama Bear.

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Memories Timeline


  1. I’m so sorry for your loss. I have many wonderful memories of growing up with Karen and working together. I believe she is smiling down on her family from heaven.

  2. I can’t imagine a world without Karen in it. I have so many memories of Karen and growing up with her. Many firsts in my life took place with Karen. The first time I met the Raley’s, Lisa and I were playing in the front yard. Kathy, Karen, and Darren walked by and talked to us. Little did we know that all of us would end up with second families from that meeting. My first slumber party was Karen’s and I was the youngest so I was introduced to Bloody Mary’s Ghost, and rolled down the stairs in my sleep! (also both firsts) My first cigarette was with Karen, my first fist fight was because of Karen and my first black eye was inadvertently because of Karen too. Of course she had nothing to do with the black eye other than her brother had terrible aim when throwing a croquet ball at her and somehow hit me! My first time trick-o-treating without my parents was with Karen. First time walking to school, first time riding in a car without a parent driving was Karen. First time a baby sitter let us stay up until our parents got home and even instructed us on how to run to bed and pretend to be asleep was Karen. The first time my mom told me “don’t blame the neighbors” was because Karen ran over my mom’s bird bath. The first time I opened a Christmas present early and tried (badly!) to re-tape it back together was because Karen told me no one would ever know! (WRONG!) The first time I was tied to a tree, thank God Darren was there too! The first baby powder fight was with Karen. Karen was there when we had my first water fight in the house in their kitchen but for once the instigator there was Mrs. Raley! I never knew a flying spatula could almost take off an ear! Karen whipped it at Darren! The first time I ever saw someone break both their arms at once was Karen. The first time I tubed down the Guadalupe drinking beer was with Karen. The memories and firsts go on and on. The one thing you could always count on was if in need Karen was there and ready to go to war for you. I will miss her always. I know the hole left in your lives will never go away but it made me smile to know she is with Tiff and watching over all of us. Love you guys.

  3. Be in peace Karen, we love and have so many great memories when we were kids. Fun cousin times, and we will always love you.

  4. We are so sorry for your loss, Gwen and Lynn and pray for peace and understanding for you and your loved ones. With love,

  5. Condolences to my family, God be with the children an parents getting thru the pain an sorrow.

  6. Sam I’m so very sorry for your loss. Just kno I’m hear whenever yu need to vent and express always remember yu made yur mom and dad very very proud of yu and they will forever be by your side watching and guiding yu. Yur in my prayers

  7. I haven’t seen Kathy, Karen or Darren in years, we met and knew one another through my parents, Danny and Charlotte but I do remember how much fun we had, even though so little. Playing and getting stuck in the snow in Colorado is a memory I will always have. I can’t imagine what it’s like to not have her there anymore, I can tell she was loved beyond belief. My prayers and love go out to Lynn, Gwen, Kathy, Darren and their families.

  8. I will always remember all of the fun I had at your house in Smithville with you and your four kids when I was a teenager. All the good memories and the life experience I learned from you are a part of who I am, now and forever. Most sincere condolences to your strong, beautiful family. We love you, Karen.

  9. “Those we love don’t go away, they walk beside us everyday, unseen, unheard but always near, still loved, still missed and very dear. Death leaves a heartache no one can heal, love leaves a memory no one can steal” thinking if your family with love and wanting to help out in any way I can. We are so sorry! We really liked your mom so much! Y’all are in our thoughts and prayers! Guy and Toni

  10. My sister said it all… … But to me Karen,”KK” was my other big sister. When I was left out she made up a pretend Sesame Street land that apparently she and I only knew of. She did this to make me feel special and a part of something the other kids knew nothing of. At the time it was everything to me. I was not allowed to cross Woodmen Road unless she or Cathy was there with me and she always took up for me when I was odd man out. I looked up to her and was in awe of my big sister KK. I looked forward to when she would get home so I could help wash the green Pinto or just hang out with her. She was the coolest girl I had ever met. I was around for most of my sisters firsts especially the fist fight, my sister made a boy cry. But that same day she carried me on her back almost all the way home from school, my shoes had gotten too small and hurt. Her friend Jackie lived off of Mikado and she carried me all the way from there. Karen made me feel safe and the day they all drove away for Arizona I thought I would die. My dog had just broke both of her paws and the Raley’s were leaving the next day. To this day that puts a lump in my throat. I love KK as I love Dar and Cathy and my second parents from those days. Peppy, Brutis, and Amy are welcoming KK to Heaven. Sorry if that sounds cheesy but I love these people and all of my memories. I love you all and I am so sad that we have not stayed in better contact all these years.

  11. Gwen, Lynn, Darren and Kathy: 38 years ago you took care of our 15 month old Emily. I had a csection with Michael so was in the hospital a few days. You brought Em to visit in her starched yellow play suit and those white, hard soled shoes. She pranced around my hospital room saying “Aw S..T” Of course she has been talking like that since you taught her. You are all so dear to us, the 45 years we have known you. Keystone, Woodmen Road, New Braunfels. We will always miss Karen terribly, she will stay in our thoughts, as will you. With blessings, Jay, Linda, Em and Michael.

  12. So sorry for your loss. Sister to Sister, please know you and family are in our prayers. You and Lynn are loved very deeply and I can feel your deep pain. Sending love and sympathy to the extended family.

  13. Lynn, Gwen, Cathy & Darren, I feel your pain & I’m so sorry you have lost Karen. You all have lots of memories & she will always be Part of your lives. Last time saw her she was little Girl living in Colorado loved her nick name Hank. May the Lord comfort you & help you to heal.

  14. May you rest in Paradise my Beautiful Friend!!! I will always cherish the bond that we had and the love u showed me from the moment I met u to the bonfire chats, the way Ur cooking just melted in my mouth. U were the best & always a joy to be around. I love u Karen always!!! Sending my love & condolences. Like Ur mom & dad…y’all are Great & I have much love for y’all. If y’all need anything I’m only a phone call away. Love y’all.

  15. Karen Raley was my friend at both Air Academy Junior High and Air Academy High school. I always felt easy with her. We wrote crazy stories in English and she stood up for me when I was being picked on. Karen was funny loyal warm imaginative and so spunky. She told me the truth when others wouldn’t. This world is a smaller place without her in it. My condolences to her family

  16. I knew Karen in at AAJH and AAHS. I am so shocked an sadden that she has passed. She was such a kind person, we always thought when we were kids that somewhere in our ancestry we must be related because we both had the last name Raley. After reading her obituary it seems we both named a child Raley. Sending love and peace to her family.

  17. I was a classmate of Karen’s too. She was a bright and beautiful soul. She is fondly remembered by many. My prayers and condolences are with you all.

  18. So very sad to hear about Karen’s passing. I went to school with in junior high and high school. She was always such a fun-loving person. My thoughts and condolences are with her family.

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