Karen Conner Ballentine, age 54 of Gatlinburg, passed away Sunday, January 17, 2016. Karen was born in Gatlinburg and was a member of First Baptist Church of Gatlinburg for many years. As a career employee of Great Smoky Mountains National Park she served as Education Branch Chief.
Karen's mother, Mary Conner, taught at Gatlinburg-Pittman High School. Her father, Bob Conner, established and ran LeConte Vista Trailer Park in Gatlinburg.
She was preceded in death by her parents, and is survived by her husband, Dave, daughter, Claire, her brother, Tim and his daughters, Megan, Chelsea, and Caroline. She is also survived by her uncle, David Webb. She is survived on her husband's side by brother-in-law, Bruce and his daughters, Hannah and Hayley, and her father-in-law, David.
In lieu of flowers, Great Smoky Mountains National Park has established a Tremont Environmental Education Center scholarship fund to help kids attend their programs. Tremont is located within the park. Contributions may be made to the Karen Ballentine Scholarship Fund, Friends of the Smokies, P.O. Box 1660, Kodak, TN 37764.
The family will receive friends from 2-4 PM Sunday, January 24rd, at First Baptist Church of Gatlinburg with the funeral service to follow at 4 PM with Rev. Larry Burcham officiating. Interment will be held 1 PM Tuesday, January 26th, at Smoky Mountain Memory Gardens in Pigeon Forge.
Funeral arrangements by Atchley Funeral Home, Sevierville. Online condolences can be made at www.atchleyfuneralhome.com.