On the first day of this month, the City of Vandalia lost a special person who served our town proudly as City Clerk for more than 20 years.
After her leukemia battle had kept her away from what she enjoyed to do a lot in the past year, Karen Shaw passed away in early August and left a void at City Hall for years to come.
I really wanted to write a little something about Karen a couple of weeks ago but failed to get the job done.
While Karen knew my wife Kristy and her family very well for many years before I ever came into the picture, my relationship with her really started when I took over as General Manager/Editor at The Vandalia Leader in late 2007.
One of the first people I spoke to was Karen.
She was always extremely helpful in getting information to our paper in a timely fashion.
If something was going to delay her in providing us the meeting minutes, she always tried to let us know ahead of time. If there was a controversial situation involving the city, Karen always had an ability to help where she could and kindly told me when she couldn’t help in a very respectful manner.
In this business, many newspapers don’t have good relationships with city clerks. I’m thankful, that at least for my own personal experience, I never had a problem with Karen.
I always appreciated her willingness to help me every time that I called. If she didn’t have the information, she would tell me that she would get back with me.
Her responses were typically pretty quick unless it was a matter that required some research.
I can also remember Karen and I sharing stories regarding the last cable television company that serviced Vandalia.
Both of us had the same experience in calling the number, asking to speak with a supervisor, and only to have the same person put us on hold then come back on changing their voice saying they are the supervisor. We enjoyed that story and talked about it from time to time through the years.
I know this editorial isn’t much but I felt I would not be doing my job if I didn’t publicly say something regarding Karen’s passing.
My heart breaks for her family and for her friends at City Hall during this time of loss.
Please be sure to take time after reading this editorial to pray for Karen’s family.
She will be missed!