Karen Johnson went to be with the Lord and savior on June 8, 2021. After fighting and winning a battle with pancreatic cancer, she lost her fight with sepsis. She was born in Odessa, Texas on December 13, 1943; to Mary Nell Johnson and Julius "Jeep" Johnson. “Jeep” was a high school football and baseball coach, winning state titles in both. He loved his only child Karen, who shared his faith and passion for sports.
Karen leaves her loving husband Lt. Col Robert Imle and a host of great friends and neighbors who love her dearly. Early in her life she found solace, inspiration, and comfort in a personal relationship with Jesus. Her heart to serve and encourage others touched every relationship.
Education was important to Karen – she graduated from Baylor University in Waco, Texas with doctorate degrees in Education and Educational Psychology and Counseling. She also has an M.A. in Sociology. She also received a Teaching Certificate in Social Sciences at North Texas University. Her wisdom and training allowed her to work as the Chief Psychologist in the Texas Department of Corrections Women’s Unit for four years. She then began a Private Practice in Texas to help people with embrace happiness and life.
She was so successful in counseling others that in 1985 she was asked to be the host and producer of a new nationally syndicated, daily, call-in television program COPE. During her time at COPE, she interviewed over 5000 individuals on television and radio. Subsequently, she worked with other television and radio stations. Before leaving Texas, she was the Associate Director for Shepperd Leadership Institute (UTPB) and helped train speakers, authors, and students in leadership skills.
After interviewing Dr. Jim Grassi of Post Falls, Idaho on COPE about his books, she and her mom visited our area several times and fell in love with the people and beauty of this region. After her mother passed away, Karen adopted the Grassi’s as her new family and moved to Post Falls with her collection of over 3000 books she had read. In 2012 she was hired by Men’s Ministry Catalyst as an Administrative Assistant and helped schedule events and edit various works.
Dr. Chuck Missler and Koinonia House found Karen’s talents and editing abilities to be valuable in moving forward with their conferences and trips. She worked with them for several years. Her passion for serving Jesus and scholarly approach to Bible study endeared her to all her coworkers.
In Post Falls, she quickly found sweet fellowship by joining a book club, a bridge group, and working with the Cancer & Community Charities (3 C’s) organization. People discovered her keen intellect and vast knowledge on many topics. One of the most outstanding individuals she met was Lt. Col. Robert Imle. His interest in being a sports spectator, fishing, playing pickleball, hosting parties, serving the Military Veterans, and loving her dog “Pepper” soon directed them to marriage in the summer of 2019.
They loved to travel and spent time in Hawaii, the Amazon River, Israel, the Panama Canal, Mexico, and all over the US. Together they had an amazing two years. Their favorite thing to do was drive anywhere singing and laughing. They were very tight knit, very happy, and were full of joy. She would often tell friends, “This has been the happiest two years of my life. I am loved without limits.” The love they had for each other had known no bounds and will live on in eternity.
Of special note, Karen and her horse set a new Texas record in the barrel race - they managed to knock down all three barrels and finish in a time of just under four minutes. The race’s shortest record time is 32 seconds.
A special Memorial Service honoring her years of service to our Lord will be help on Friday, June 25 at 4:00PM at the Bell Tower on 3398 E. Jenalan Ave, Post Falls. On Saturday, June 26th at 1 pm, a Celebration of Life Program will be held at the Grill on the Highlands Golf Course. Those who loved her can share their stories and thoughts with one another.
"Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God; trust also in me. In my Father's house are many rooms; if it were not so, I would have told you. I am going there to prepare a place for you." John 14:1-2”.