Karen Renee Rice

Karen Renee Rice was born April 29, the day of the Seattle Earthquake of ’65 @ Swedish Hospital in Seattle, WA. She passed away on September 16, 2016 in Tukwila, WA.


Her survivors include Joanne R. Rice (mother), Alan B. Rice (father), Anthony E. Zanders (son), Brandon D. Zanders (son) and David R. Rives (uncle).


Karen grew up on Mercer Island and Bellevue, WA & graduated from Interlake High School, Class of ’83. A few years later she attended Griffith Business College in Bellevue, WA.


Karen always loved music and at one time was fortunate enough to belong to the Mercer Island Children’s Choir. Her choir was honored to be able to sing with the Total Experience Gospel Choir of Seattle. On April 29, 1978 the Gospel choir joined with the Mercer Island Children’s Choir and the combined 160-plus singers drew 3,000 attendees to a joint concert at the Seattle Center House.


When Karen was in high school, she sang with the  Interlake Jazz Choir and was brave enough to sing many solos. Her mother went to all of her concerts and Karen’s beautifully sung solos always brought tears to her mother’s eyes. Barbra Streisand was her idol when she was a young girl.


Unfortunately, when Karen was 19, she suffered a nervous breakdown and struggled with her mental illness until she passed away at the age of 51. She lived a tough but very courageous life! To her mother she was the strongest woman she had ever known!!


In 1998 she met and fell in love with Earl Zanders. She and Earl have two sons, Anthony and Brandon. Anthony (19) graduated from Sammamish High School in June of 2016. Brandon (15) is a sophomore at Sammamish High and a star football player.


Karen’s love of music was passed onto her son Anthony, who has been involved in bands, jazz and concert choirs since the fifth grade. Karen loved her 2 boys with all her heart and soul!! She enjoyed going to Anthony’s band and choir concerts, as well as Brandon’s football games. She and Brandon played catch football when he was younger and she played hide and seek with Brandon and the neighbor kids. They had movie nights & game nights and Karen made up many activities for the family. She also enjoyed going for long walks with Anthony and his friend Corrina.


In time some changes occurred and Karen moved to her own apartment in Tukwila, WA, where she discovered a wonderful church called The Church by the Side of the Road. She made many friends there and found her faith in God once more


Karen will live in the hearts of the people who loved her forever and ever!! She is now in heaven hanging out with her Grandma and Grandpa. She is also spending heaven time with her mother’s partner, Steve, who helped tremendously during Karen’s many trials and tribulations.


Karen’s Memorial Service will be on Saturday, March 4 at 1:00 pm @ the Church by the Side of the Road, 3455 S 148th St (International Blvd & South 148th St) Tukwila, WA 98168.


In lieu of flowers, please donate to NAMI (National Alliance on Mental Illness) http://www.nami.org/#.

2 Responses to “Karen Renee Rice”

  • Conie Blake says:

    It was so special to attend Karen’s Memorial Service last Sat. I know it is difficult to realize that she has passed, but only from this plane. You can still communicate with her by calling upon her spirit.
    So much love to Joanne, Anthony, Brandon, Earl and all who knew her. Thank you, Barton Funeral Home, for your patience with all of this.

  • Wael Elgayar says:

    It’s really hard to lose your beloved ones, specially your kid!
    I’m so sorry for you Joanne and I wish your grands would fulfill Karen’s space

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