-- 1936 ~ 2010 --
Alene Riley was born on November 5, 1936 to Faye Rose and
Frank Riley in Fort Wayne, Indiana. She was the oldest of
four children, including her sister Janice, and two brothers,
David and Darryl. The family moved to Peoria, Illinois when
Karen was very young.
Karen was born with spina bifida and was operated on shortly
after her birth. Following the operation her mother was
told that Karen probably wouldn’t live past a few
years and mostly like would not be able to walk.
Her father and mother split up early in Karen’s
life and her mother later married Arthur Diefenderfer. Karen
adored her new daddy, Arthur.
Karen attended school at William Allen High School and
graduated in 1954. While in high school she participated
in musicals, plays, and school choirs. She was a fan of
big band and swing music, took tap dancing and ballet lessons,
and loved to sing. As a little girl, her daddy compared
her to Shirley Temple. Karen loved to perform for her brothers
and sisters and friends.
In 1960, Karen married Anthony Bottita and together they
had one son, Michael who came along in 1963. The family
lived in East Orange, New Jersey until Karen and Anthony
were divorced in 1965. Karen and Michael moved to Allentown,
Pennsylvania where she focused all of her attention on her
Karen raised Michael in a loving home and did the best
she could on a rather small income. She attempted to gain
a college degree in the late 1970’s, then opted to
discontinue classes because it meant not being home when
her son came home from school. She didn’t want him
be a “latch-key kid.”
Karen taught her son many of life’s important lessons
including honesty and integrity, how to cook and iron, etiquette,
and how to waltz, among many other things.
Karen and Michael joined the Church of Jesus Christ of
Latter Day Saints in August of 1976. She was an active member
there and served in many callings such as primary teacher,
relief society instructor, church magazine representative,
and young women’s leader. She stepped way out of her
comfort zone and was a counselor at girl’s camp.
In 1981, after her son left for Rick’s College,
Karen moved to Santa Monica, California for two years then
returned to Allentown, Pennsylvania. About 1987, she moved
back to her childhood home of Peoria, Illinois. There she
lived alone until circumstances required her to move to
Utah in 2006.
Following a bad fall Karen was brought to Utah by her
son Michael to allow her to be closer to him and his family.
While in Utah she was cared for by several care facilities
including Westside Community Nursing Home and most recently
the Draper Rehabilitation and Care Center.
Her health was declining by early summer of 2010 and she
passed away in her sleep on October 6, 2010. Karen is preceded
in death by her parents Faye Rose and Arthur Diefenderfer
(of Allentown, Pennsylvania), Frank Riley (of Peoria, Illinois)
and her sister, Janice Dillard (of Simsbury, Connecticut).
She is survived by two brothers, David and Darryl Diefenderfer
(of Allentown, Pennsylvania), and her son Michael Bottita,
his wife Julia, and their children Savannah (Braden Merrill)
and Sierra (of Highland, Utah).
Karen will be remembered most for her short stature, her
spunky nature, her warm smile and caring heart, and her
sense of humor.
Karen always felt her greatest accomplishment was her
son Michael, whom she loved more than anyone else and tirelessly
gave all of herself for. She will be greatly missed. We
love you Karen.
We express our heartfelt thanks for the caring concern
of family and friends, Warenski Funeral Home, and Draper
Rehabilitation and Care Center during this difficult time.
Funeral services for Karen will be held Saturday, October
9, 2010 at 12:00 noon in the Warenski Funeral Home Chapel
located at 1776 North 900 East, American Fork, Utah. Family
and friends are invited to attend a viewing from 10:30 am
to 12:00 noon prior to services at the funeral home. Interment
- Pleasant Grove City Cemetery located at 500 North 100
East, Pleasant Grove, Utah.