Cover photo for Karen W. Byus ( nee Merkel)'s Obituary
Karen W. Byus ( nee Merkel) Profile Photo
1942 Karen 2024

Karen W. Byus ( nee Merkel)

July 24, 1942 — May 31, 2024


Byus, Karen W. Merkel, age 81

Due to COVID related illness and other health complications, Karen passed away peacefully in her home on May 31, 2024 surrounded by family.

Karen was born on July 24, 1942 in East Hartford, CT to Dr. Gottfried F. Merkel and Winifred Merkel (Ruter). In 1946, Karen and her family moved to College Hill, Ohio where she grew up loving classical music and learning how to play the piano. Karen is one of six children: Dr. Frederick Merkel and Christian G. Merkel. And three sisters Margaret F. Merkel (Meg), Luise Merkel Morton and Susan Merkel Faust. She is preceded in death by her sisters Susan Merkel Faust and Margaret (Meg) Merkel and her brother Christian G. Merkel. Karen was a resident of Clermont County, Ohio and was well known as a postal driver for the Bethel Post office in Ohio and a school bus driver for the New Richmond Schools in New Richmond, Ohio. She was also retired from the Internal Revenue Service of Newport, KY after many years of service. Karen loved living out in the country and being outdoors where she enjoyed growing vegetables in a garden and canning them for the winter. She was one who would always put that special touch to everything she did whether it was wrapping a gift or making a meal. Along with that she had the most beautiful penmanship and it was like a bonus with her cards and letters and everything would look perfect. 

Karen loved all animals but especially her two cats Suzy and Christy who were both rescues and were very special and dear to her. In lieu of flowers, please donate to the Save the Animals Foundation at or to the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra at

Karen is survived by her husband Curtis R. Byus of 36 years and her four children Donald W. Strunk Jr., Lexington, SC; Karen W. Rodriguez, Palatka, FL; Kelly S. Schmidt, Taylorsville, NC; Margaret L. Byus (Meg), New Richmond, OH; along with seven grandchildren Amanda Morales Jacksonville, FL; Monica Sorals, FL; Phillip Crowe, Jacksonville, FL; Tammy A. Strunk, Lexington, SC; Kevin Schmidt, Lexington, SC; Evert L. Byus (Lb/Elbe) (Deceased), New Richmond, OH; Samantha M. Byus, New Richmond, OH, and eight great grandchildren and two sweet kitties Suzy and Christy. 


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