Karen Christine Hay passed away last week at home in her yard. She loved her cats and was truly concerned with how people used the environment. She wanted the next generation to see the world the way it started, not just the way we left it after we were finished using it.
A graveside service for Karen is scheduled for 1:00 PM, Tuesday, January 30, 2018 at South Park Cemetery with Pastor John Harrison officiating.
Karen was born in Aurora, Colorado to Charles and Ruby Hay. They moved to Biloxi, MS, then Southern CA, where she started college. Between these adventures she lived in Roswell, NM. After graduating from Eastern New Mexico University, Portales with several degrees including Physics, she moved to Las Cruces, where she started her dream job, programing computers at White Sands Missile Range. She helped rewrite the software that enabled the Patriot Missile to shoot down both incoming missiles and aircraft. Then came the environmentalist job she was born for. That job brought out the California girl in her, sort of. She knew the missile range was set aside for testing ordinance. She also knew the water shed under it flowed into El Paso and needed to be protected. She walked that tight rope until she retired to her home just outside of Las Cruses. She began remodeling it for a "retired person". That job she was unable to complete. Karen was an accomplished photographer who focused on landscapes and wildlife. She was adventurous and enjoyed travel and exploring historical sights.
She is survived by her aunt, Christine Harrison formerly, of Roswell, NM, now in Spring, TX, and two cousins, David Harrison of Lubbock, TX and Nathan Harrison of Spring, TX, five second cousins and seven third cousins, a host of friends and an unknown number of cats.
Karen words will never say how a good friend you were. Thoughts of our friendship roll through. Love you and always.
Alice MartinezLas Cruces, NM
I met Karen upon my arrival at White Sands Missile Range in 2001. My office was just a couple doors down from hers in the Environmental Directorate. At the time, we were in different divisions, but eventually reorganization placed both our program areas within the same division. Karen did have a vision that allowed her to see the larger picture of how the military could use the environment without damaging it.
Karen was easy with whom to talk and vent our frustrations. I tried to be as good a sounding board for her as she was for me. I wish she would have had more time to enjoy retirement. I wish nothing but good things for her in this next stage of existence. Thank you Karen for your friendship.
Junior D. KernsLas Cruces, NM
Karen was a visionary before her time in the world of environmental protection. She clearly had a passion for protecting the future to ensure a beautiful world for the next generation. This was evident in her collection of rocks to desert flora transplants in her home garden to a strong voice to assess cumulative effects of military practices on the White Sands Missile Range environment. Her limitless imagination prowled far and wide. Karens passion for the environment was equal to her love for cats - all cats. Lions, tigers, jaguars, pumas, and house cats. In lieu of flowers, the White Sands Missile Range Environmental Division is making a donation in Karens name to Cats Meow, an adoption center for domestic cats in Las Cruces.
White Sands Missile Range Environmental OfficeWhite Sands Missile Range, NM
Sending condolences to family in Spring Tx. (Harrison’s)
Glenda SmithGrand Junction, CO