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Karen Guilford

Oct 12, 1956 - Oct 04, 2021

Karen Guilford

October 12, 1956 - October 04, 2021


Karen Guilford, 64 years young, passed away on October 4 after a courageous battle with pancreatic cancer. Karen's love and compassion always saw the best in people, had a heart that forgave the worst, a mind that forgot the bad, and a soul that never lost faith in God. We will miss her bright smile, grace, infectious laugh, and loving heart.

Karen was born in Phoenix and attended Cortez High School where she excelled in several sports between cheerleading duties. Her athletic abilities garnered her a spot playing college soccer, a tennis scholarship, and recognition as the top swimmer in her class at Arizona State University. She could throw a tight spiral and never met a ping pong table she didn't like. Karen's humble nature avoided the spotlight and made sure it focused on others.

After college and marriage, Karen found a home and career at Discount Tire Company where she was surrounded by people she loved and cherished for over 36 years. She would regularly celebrate co-workers' birthdays with homemade brownies. Some of her former bosses joked that after eating Karen's brownies, "you don't brush your teeth, you count them". It was this fun and friendly banter that endeared Karen to the "work hard/have fun" culture of Discount Tire. At work, she took delight in holding her male-dominated teammates accountable with her "cuss jar". Many of her co-workers acknowledged her humble nature and giving spirit as a moral compass. She was forever grateful to Bruce Halle for the opportunities provided her and over 20,000 employees of the Discount Tire family.

Karen's greatest joy was her family. She was a disciplined, compassionate, supportive, and kind mother to daughter Allison, and a VERY patient and loving wife to her husband. She loved selflessly serving her family and being an audience to their success. She supported Allison's love of music with piano, dance, and voice lessons, which eventually led Allison to earn music degrees from Chapman University and USC. Karen could not have been happier when Allison accepted the job as Choral Director at Horizon High School. Karen was a regular weekend volunteer at the school, where she found joy in helping others and supporting the talents of the high school students.

The foundation for Karen's life was her faith. She tried to model biblical principles, by loving others as Jesus loved us and caring for others before herself. At church, she was always ready to volunteer, whether as a High School Youth Sponsor, a fifth grade Sunday School teacher, or serving communion every week. Karen loved her God and expressed it with her service and generosity.

Karen found her happy place in the clear waters and beaches of Hawaii. Her favorite adventures were cruising the shoreline of the Napali Coast in a Zodiac raft, exploring sea caves, scouting sea turtles from the shore and snorkeling--she was fascinated by the vibrant colors of sea life. The natural beauty of the islands that captivated and connected with Karen, reflected the natural and inner beauty we saw in her.

And now, my best friend, my faithful wife, my beautiful Karen is gone. Our dreams and our marriage of 40 years ended; our vows were fulfilled. Our love is undeniable. Karen's laugh, her smile, her caring heart made everything easier. I loved her more than I could have imagined. Her heart may have stopped, but I must believe that her spirit lives on in those whose lives she touched and the causes she supported.

On behalf of Allison and our entire extended family, we would like to express our heartfelt thanks to the caring and compassionate Doctors and Nurses at Mayo Clinic, and the wonderful support from Hospice of the Valley. To all of Karen's friends and co-workers at Discount Tire, please know that she loved and appreciated each of you. From Karen's family, a special thank you to all her friends who showed their love and support during her fight. Your presence lifted her spirit, lightened her burden, and made her journey more bearable. She treasured your friendship.

A celebration of Karen's life will be held on Saturday, November 20 at 10:00 a.m. at the SCOTTSDALE campus of Christ's Church of the Valley (CCV), 19030 North Pima Rd, Scottsdale AZ 85255.


Celebration of Life
Sat, Nov 20, 2021 at 10:00 am
Christ's Church of the Valley (CCV) Scottsdale

19030 N Pima Road
Scottsdale, AZ 85255

A celebration of Karen’s life will be held on Saturday, November 20 at 10:00 a.m. at the SCOTTSDALE campus of Christ’s Church of the Valley (CCV), 19030 North Pima Rd, Scottsdale AZ 85255.

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