Karen Lynn Grimes-Kelley, 51, died peacefully on Thursday, August 30, 2018 at Fort Sanders Regional Medical Center in Knoxville.
She grew up in Chattanooga, attended Bright School, St. Nicholas School, GPS, University of The South, UTK, and Pellissippi State College. She was married to David Grimes, her sweetheart of 30 years. They spent most of their married life in Seymour, Tn., with their beloved dogs, Paddlefoot, Spinner, Kernal and Schatzie.
She was predeceased by her father, Judge Ralph Kelley of Chattanooga, and her sister, Laura Kelley Adams, of Weston, CO.
Karen is survived by David; her mother, Barbara Kelley; and her older sister, Ellen Kelley, as well as numerous cousins.
She was employed as a supervisor at Elavon, financial sector merchant services, in Seymour, and had worked as a massage specialist in the Seymour-Sevierville areas.
Karen loved painting classes with her friends. She loved the world in its natural state, (e.g. no cut flowers—only in their natural habitat), the Smoky Mountains; and rainbows after a hard thunderstorm.
Karen was a permanent and active student, instructor and mentor at Tennessee Martial Arts University (TMAU) in Seymour. Her disciplines there included yoga, in which she was a certified instructor, tai chi, and wu xing quan. She was a decorated first-place champion at multiple martial arts tournaments, including the Battle of Cumberland Gap and The Smoky Mountain Christian Martial Arts Classic. Karen was a charter member of the TMAU Girls' Fight Club, a program that teaches self-defense at a low cost to women and encourages internal strength and growth in family and friend relationships. She valued toughness and perseverance in the face of adversity, and stood as a primary example of this to her family, friends, and many admirers.
More than anything else in the world she loved to be with David, and cheering her UT Vols. She also read voraciously and was a huge fan of many games.
On Sunday, Sept. 23, following the regular church services at Christ Episcopal Church, located on McCallie Avenue at Douglas Street, there will be an internment of ashes for Karen and a dedication of chimes in the Cloister Garden in memory of both Karen and her sister, Laura, who predeceased her.
A celebration will be held in her memory on Saturday, Oct. 6, from 6-8 p.m. in Seymour, Tn., at the outdoor pavilion of First Baptist Church, 11621 Chapman Highway, Seymour.
Donations in Karen’s memory may be made to Sevier County Humane Society, P. O. Box 976, Pigeon Forge, Tn. 37868 or online at https://Sevierhumane.org.