School 04

Karen Nord-Waldorf

1939 - 2020


Karen Nord-Waldorf, 80, of Burlington, died at 7:45 PM Thursday, May 7, 2020, at the Morning Sun Care Center.

Born May 18, 1939, in Hennepin, MN, she was the daughter of George and Signe Overby Nord. She married David Waldorf on June 26, 1995 in Burlington. 

Karen was the Principal of Black Hawk Elementary School and later Administrator for Prospect Hill School.

She graduated with a Master's from the University of Northern Iowa.

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Prugh-Thielen Funeral Home

3940 Division Street, Burlington, IA

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Linda Parks

May 15, 2020 10:34 AM

Karen always had my back and made me feel like I was a really good and creative teacher. I Loved teaching and she knew it! She laughed and encouraged my antics with Mary Lee and cheered us on to be our best. We laughed a lot about the crazy things kids did. I admired the way she always put children’s needs first and treated them with respectful kindness. Their feelings were important to her. She always remembered that they were KIDS… not short adults. 

Karen found and supported the best in ALL of her teachers. We each had our own teaching style, and she noticed what we were doing RIGHT and assured us that THAT was our strength. It was important knowing that I could try all kinds of new teaching techniques and figure out which ones worked and which ones didn’t, without being judged. She let me be me. 

David, you two were blessed to have found each other. You had a beautiful, synergistic life together. She will be missed every day.  

Blessings to you, John, Joel and Ann. 

Vicki Dillon

May 14, 2020 12:55 PM

Karen was a kind, thoughtful, and caring person. When she came to Prospect Hill, I was a 3/4 Combination teacher. Karen guided  me through situations, as we laughed at the kids creativity. She was sharp and on top of all events. She shared her hobbies: knitting patterns, bird identification questions, and was a great supportive environmentalist. Karen encouraged and participated in our yearly  Earth Day School Tree Plantings and assemblies, was encouraging and forgiving, and, yes, very witty. She supported  & participated in the tree planting of 27 flowering trees in the BlackHawk Courtyard. Karen  was a good friend you could confide in and a joy to visit with. She will be greatly missed. We send strength and peace to David and her sons. As she will be greatly missed, her spirit & memories will live on in the 1,000’s of students she touched & inspired through the decades. We are so sorry for your loss. 

Libba Flores

May 11, 2020 10:30 PM

When I moved back from California Karen interviewed me for a kindergarten job at Prospect Hill Elementary . After 7 years there we all transferred to Black Hawk. She was strong and kind at the same time. We laughed about the crazy things kids do. She was always concerned with each student's welfare and their growth and success . She was open to brainstorming new ideas and I always felt supported as a teacher  and a friend. Prayers and good memories to David and her sons. I am so very sorry for your loss. 

Carole, Howard, Victoria, and Nick Whitcomb

May 11, 2020 1:54 PM

I met Karen when my children attended Black Hawk. As I became involved in volunteerism in the school, she became a friend and wonderful supporter of the parent group and to me. She gave me advice and was a great sounding board for ideas and issues. Our children adored her and she was a great support to them too. I remember sitting in her office talking over parenting issues and laughing at the things kids could come up with!
Prayers to her family and friends as they grieve the loss of this special woman.

Vicki Dillon

May 14, 2020 1:06 PM

Carole, I remember how Karen would give your kids permission to come over during the summers to help drag the hoses and water the BlackHawk Courtyard trees that Karen  and your family helped plant. Your PTO support was so instrumental to building a strong school community. She had us use the Courtyard  to Tie-Die T-Shirts for Field Day, exploring, reading, and just quiet writing journaling time. Karen  always made sure the students were safe. She was a true trooper. 

JoAnn Williams

May 11, 2020 9:56 AM

Karen was a wonderful person and so very interesting to talk to.  As an RSVP driver, I meet all kinds of people, but some are more fun than others.  I was always happy when I was assigned to be Karen's driver,

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