August 14, 1949 – April 3, 2016
Who can find a virtuous woman? For her worth is far above rubies… Proverbs 31:10
Mrs. Karen Futrell-Jones was born in Chicago, Illinois on August 14, 1949, to Augusta and Edith Futrell. She was the second born, following her sister Marsha Futrell-McCullough. Her life’s journey modeled a life of a virtuous woman, who with an unselfish and loving heart was a devoted wife, mother, sister, sister-in-law, aunt, cousin, great aunt, great great aunt, friend and colleague. Karen received Christ at the young age of 10 at St. John Missionary Baptist Church in South Bend, Indiana, and has been faithful ever since. Growing up she sang in the church choir and attended many of the church functions.
Karen attended Central High School where she was a cheerleader, and graduated with honors. After graduating, she worked at WNDU TV Station for Notre Dame University in the marketing and sales department. Before moving to Houston, she worked in the sales department for Hoover and then Eureka Vacuum Cleaners. In 1991, she started with Houston Cellular in the mobile phone industry, which later became AT&T, where she faithfully worked for the past 25 years. Impressively, she achieved top sales status at every company she worked for, and her love for sales has afforded her many awards, accolades, trips, bonuses and other accoutrements. She was invited to the celebration of the 2008 NBA Hall of Fame Inductees Ceremonies by her longtime friend Adrian Dantley. Because of her known success at AT&T, she was able to persuade this Fortune 50 Corporation to sponsor executive gift bags for this class of inductees.
Karen and Donald met in South Bend, Indiana in 1980. They decided to relocate to Houston, Texas in order to pursue greater professional opportunities. After moving to Texas, their relationship blossomed into eternal love. Blessed by God, Karen and Donald married on August 10, 1985. Last August they celebrated their 30th wedding anniversary. To this union was born a beautiful baby boy who they affectionately named John Blair. John Blair was Karen’s pride and joy. She raised him to have a strong relationship with the Lord. She instilled in him her strong Christian values and love of family.
Karen lived life to the fullest, one of her favorite past times was spending time with friends and colleagues after work, which she comically labeled her “stress management class.” She loved to travel and visited friends and family all across the country. She had a circle of friends and they participated in frequent fun activities in Houston. All of these strong women worked extremely hard .
One of Karen’s passions was serving as an advocate for breast cancer awareness. Affectionately known as BB, Karen was one the matriarchs of her family. She represents the love , grace , beauty, and steadfastness that all of the young women in this family looked up to— Karen was a rock.
On April 3, 2016, Karen made her triumphant journey to join her Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Her loved ones who preceded her in death: parents who raised her, Beanie and EJ; two brothers Calvin and Vincent; sister-in-law Maxine; uncle Nice; first cousin Jerry, nephew Carlton and Raphael. She leaves to cherish her memory and legacy: her loving husband Donald; son John Blair; sister Marsha “Cookie” and brother-in-law Kenny; brother Ellie Joe “Sonny”; uncle Edgar, aunt Odessa, first cousins: Michelle, Melody, Monica, Marvella, Edgar Jr., Kenny, Tyrone, Sherry, Janice, Kathy “Kitty,” Vanessa and Lois “Yogi;” nieces: Diana, Kim (John “Skip”), Monique (Tony), SuLandra “Cassy”, Nova, Shachelle; Nephew Tony (Cindy); great nieces: Meghan, Ashley, Carlin, Felicia, Maxine, and Carlena; great nephews: Frank, CJ, Alex, Carlson “Bunky” and Anthony ; great-great nieces: Paige, Farah and Dakota; great-great nephew Kyron; 92 year old mother-in-law Mary Borders “Nana;” sister-in-laws: Teri, Connie, Vickie and Jonita “Kookie;” and a host of other family and friends.
The family received guest for a visitation on Friday, April 8th at Sugar Land Mortuary, 1818 Eldridge Road, Sugar Land, TX. The Funeral services were held Saturday, April 9th at Lakewood Church 3700 SW Freeway, Houston with Rev. Dodie Osteen, Officiating. Final resting place is at Forest Park Westheimer Cemetery, Houston.