Tribute to Karen Reece Wright

Karen Reece Wright

Today, I learned of the passing of a classmate Karen Reece Wright. It seems like only yesterday that we were in the football stadium running around in our red and white caps and gowns. There was an excitement that we were on the verge of accomplishing something. We sensed there was a new adventure awaiting us, and too that an adventure was ending for us as classmates. For many of us, our journey together had started twelve years earlier. Our minds were unable to comprehend the reality of what separate paths would mean to our relationships. I am just now realizing we will not get back together for one last senior year.

These realizations bring back sweet memories of old friends like Karen Reece, but they are mixed with regret. I think we all regret that we have not realized earlier how special our friends like Karen were to us, wished we had taken more action to stay in touch, that we had not assumed that we had forever. I regret that I did not spend more time during those school days asking Karen more questions. That I was not more interested in her thoughts, feelings, and dreams about life. Instead, we were content to simply speak in the halls and class and allow circumstance to throw us together, as it did when we worked together on the student council, the homecoming float, decorating the gym for the prom and on our senior play.

Karen was pretty and sweet and had an easy smile. She had an almost serene disposition and that caused her not to demand or even seek attention, but I do remember a few quick witted and sarcastic remarks. She was smart. No one denied she was smart, but of course we believed that was a given since her mother was our librarian. It was impossible to be around all those books and some of it not soak in. Karen was smart, really smart, and talented too, as I knew all the kids were who made our hearts swell on Friday nights, while playing in the Haleyville High marching band.

After our senior year, circumstances would bring us together only a few more times, the latest was at our 30-year class reunion. Karen still had that pretty smile and sweet disposition and it was good to see her having such a good time there. Though Karen passed on to live and love in what I believe to be a happier place, she will always live on here in my memories…our memories, and of course through her beautiful daughter. Karen, if you can hear me now, know that you did make a difference to us and that we loved you.

  • Beth Kelley Minor

    Clay, What a sweet tribute to Karen. Every word is so true. We have lost a dear. loving, caring friend. I have known Karen all of my life. So many of us who graduated from HHS have so many good memories. Your 30 year reunion was the last time I saw her, I actually took her to her car that night because she was not ready to leave when whoever she came with was leaving. It seems no matter how long we go without contact with old school friends, when we do get together it is like we have never been apart.

  • I loved you too Karen
    I remember Tuscaloosa and staying with you and one other time you had to come and “rescue” us.
    Again together we will be.

  • ok clay
    you need to link your wp blog to my writer’s group blog at

%d bloggers like this: