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Bybee, Karen Kummer

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December 24, 1946 - August 21, 2015

Bybee, Karen Kummer

Karen Bybee died peacefully at home on Friday morning August 21, 2015.  Her funeral service will be a sung Eucharist at 11:00 a.m. on Saturday, October 10, 2015 at The Episcopal Church of the Transfiguration, 14115 Hillcrest Road, Dallas, Texas 75254 on the northwest corner with Spring Valley.  It will be followed by interment in the church’s columbarium and a reception at the church.  The family prefers donations to the Scleroderma Research Foundation, 220 Montgomery St. #1411, San Francisco, CA 94104,, in lieu of flowers for anyone so inclined.

Karen Kummer Bybee, P.E., was born Christmas Eve in 1946.  She started in private school and then went to public school in Lake Worth, Texas, where she graduated in 1964.  In high school, she examined various religions and convinced her family to convert from Baptist to Episcopalian.  The family enjoyed many summer vacations in the Florida panhandle where her father loved the white sand beaches.  In the summer of 1963 she attended a National Science Foundation summer science program in Austin.  Her roommate there became a lifetime friend.  She was also always close to her mother’s sister’s daughter from Farmers Branch and Carrollton.  She married Hal H. Bybee, Jr. in June 1968.  She joined the Otis Engineering subsidiary of Halliburton in late 1969 with a fresh bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering from The University of Texas at Austin.  In 1973, Karen took maternity leave to give birth to a daughter, Alice, in January.  As Alice grew up, Karen was a youth group sponsor and altar guild member at church and a volunteer trail guide at the Plano school district Outdoor Learning Center.  Karen was also an avid gardener, cook, reader, and collector of art and antiques.  She enjoyed vacationing in the Florida panhandle, New Mexico, Boston where Alice got her first degree, and San Francisco where Alice lives and got her second degree.

Karen spent her Otis career doing petroleum engineering mathematics and software support in Carrolton for subsurface safety valves, artificial lift, and other two-phase flow applications.  Her parents died in 1980 and 1982.  She left Halliburton in 1994 and joined the Society of Petroleum Engineers staff in early 1997 as a technical editor for the Journal of Petroleum Technology (JPT).  There she would read half a dozen reviewer-selected technical papers each month and write two-page summaries of them for publication in the JPT to help keep members from having to order full papers based on their title or conference abstract and, after working through twenty or so pages of equations, discover that the paper did not apply to their problem.

Karen retired in the summer of 2011 partially due to the arthritis symptoms of the autoimmune disease scleroderma, partially to protect the household order from her husband who had retired six months earlier, and partially to prepare for the October wedding of her daughter at a beautiful vineyard in California.  She was then blessed with a granddaughter, Zoe, in September 2012.  In November of 2012 she was diagnosed with esophageal cancer.  Because of the scleroderma, the oncologists could not offer any treatment for the cancer other than periodic transfusions to make up for blood loss from the tumor.  By the end of May, 2015, the cancer had spread and she chose to have hospice care at home.  In the end, death came peacefully as she slept the morning of Friday, August 21, 2015, with nurses, husband, and pet dog, Molly, at her side.  Karen was most thankful for having almost three years to get to know and spoil her granddaughter and see her daughter and son-in-law buy a home just north of San Francisco (where they each work in graphic design) in Marin County with lots of room and excellent schools for Zoe.

Karen is survived by her husband, daughter, son-in-law, granddaughter, 98 year old mother-in-law, husband’s brother-in-law and his family, and numerous aunts, uncles, and cousins descended from her Kummer and Ewart grandparents from West Helena, Arkansas, and descended from her husband’s Bybee and Lipscomb grandparents from Austin and Bonham, Texas.

Arrangements are under the direction of
ARIA Cremation Service and Funeral Home
19310 Preston Road
Dallas, Texas 75252

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2011-Alice’s Wedding               1968- Karen’s Engagement Portriat Wedding                                                                                                  Announcements


Karen – 2013 Taken at a Neighbor’s party.


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Jim (james)Hoggins

September 16, 2016 12:48PM

I am so sorry to hear of Karen's death. You were blessed with a wonderful lady.)I apologize for this being a year late but I only very recently found out. I was very privileged to know Karen as a precious friend and classmate at UT. We moved to Plano several years ago and I thankfully was able to talk to Karen but only once or twice on the phone. I had recently realized it was important to express special friends etc. who had a positive effect on me. I will never have that chance now which I regret.
I am trying now to prevent that from happening again which is why I have included this in my condolences. Karen and I had a mutual friend at the time at UT, Barbara (due to my present memory problems I no longer her last name then or present name). Would you please help me not lose the opportunity to tell her. If you have her contact info or present last name, I will be greatful to you if you let me know. Too many have already passed.
Jim 469-416-2772

Lisa Bybee

October 11, 2015 7:50PM

Hal,I am so sorry to hear of the passing of Karen. My thoughts and prayers are with you and Bybee family.
Lisa Bybee Bloomington IN

Carol Jensen

October 08, 2015 6:57PM

Please accept my deepest sympathy. Karen will be missed by all who knew her. I treasure my memories of her.

Nancy Lamb

September 28, 2015 11:18AM

My deepest sympathy to the family and friends on the loss of Karen Bybee.

Judy Lanier Belt

September 23, 2015 8:49PM

Hal, I am so sorry to hear of your wife's death. She was a beautiful woman and obviously very intelligent, as befits you. Please accept our condolences.

Love, Skip and Judy Belt

Sandy Potter

September 21, 2015 10:28AM

My thoughts and prayers are with you Hal and your family. Karen was a wonderful woman to know and her passion and influence on others is her living legacy. MLPSUH. Sandy

Paul Colman Jr

September 14, 2015 9:29AM

I was in Lake Worth HS with Karen. She had a very quick wit and humor. I can can still remember her laugh from many of our days in chemistry and physics labs ,when sometimes even Karen was not sure if we were doing the experiment right! She and Marilyn Moody were the smartest of our class and it was always my goal to make as many A's as they did ....i fell way short!! Karen you will always be one of my classmates that I hold in very high regard.

Katherine DeGrow

September 11, 2015 4:01PM

I am a neighbor who came to know Karen in the last month's of her life on earth. I only wish we had become friends years ago. She was a bright woman who was a pioneer in her field.

Mary Jane Touchstone

September 11, 2015 11:01AM

My prayers and sympathy goes out to Karen's family and friends. I really enjoyed working with Karen and getting to know her. She always had a funny story and seemed to always have a smile on her face. She will be missed.