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Karen Melton, Festival Co-Founder


Karen Marie Hatcher Melton died, Thursday, June 29 at Mercy Hospital, St. Louis from a series of debilitating strokes.  Karen was born April 2, 1944 in Union and with her brother David Hatcher went to public school there. Karen’s parents were Wanda and Raymond “Hatch” Hatcher. She was a diploma graduate of the Research Hospital School of Nursing program and she earned her nursing license in 1965.  Her forty-five-year ministry of care-giving included nearly ten years at Bothwell Hospital in Sedalia, Missouri and almost thirty-five years at Mercy Hospital, Washington.  She retired in 2012 as a nurse in the Ambulatory Care Unit. Karen and her husband Larry co-founded the first Scott Joplin Ragtime Festival in Sedalia, Missouri in 1974. 

Karen was also active in the First Baptist Church, Washington.

Karen was devoted to her family. Her husband Larry, son John and daughter in love, Lisa and grandson Brian and his wife Taylor and great-granddaughter Elsie Marie; granddaughters Leanna, Bethany, and Janaya Karen; and grandsons Joel and Trent.

The family requests memorial donations be made to the Karen Melton Mercy Fund at the First Baptist Church, Washington.  It is being established through the church to provide funds for community families in crisis situations. Karen touched and changed the lives of so many and she leaves behind a multitude of loving friends.  Her compassionate, prayerful care of patients through the years exemplified the Mercy Hospital values of Justice, Dignity, Reverence, Commitment to the Poor, Stewardship and Integrity.  

​Karen Melton Memorial,

First Baptist Church

111 East 14th,

Washington, MO 63090

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