Cover photo for Karen Marie (Robinson) Abnet's Obituary
Karen Marie (Robinson) Abnet Profile Photo
1946 Karen 2023

Karen Marie (Robinson) Abnet

October 30, 1946 — January 28, 2023


  It is with the saddest of hearts that we share, Karen Abnet, age 76 passed away Saturday, Jan. 28, 2023, after a short hospital stay. As a woman who often joked about “not having a filter” here are some unfiltered thoughts about her.

     Karen was born in Flint, Michigan on October 30, 1946, the daughter of Howard Fred and Doris Marie (Patterson) Robinson.  She graduated from Chesaning Union High School with the class of 1964. On February 8, 1969, Karen married Frank Jay Abnet at Trinity United Methodist Church, Chesaning, MI.

     Per her wishes, we focus on the good and move towards a celebration of her life. However, there will be many tears shed right along with inappropriate jokes. She was full of life and love and sass (not always in equal parts). Karen was the best stay-at-home mom for her two children.

     Together, she and Frank worked hard to put both of their children through college. Both as a maid at the Brass Bell Motel and later as a dry cleaner at Dale’s Clothing Care, she was an amazing worker and co-worker. Some might wonder if customer service was the best place for her and her “sass.” But she made lifelong friends wherever she went and she always went above and beyond and was proud of the work she did.

     She worked right alongside Frank as “Mrs. Coach” helping to run the COHOS swim team for many years. As an avid dog lover (sorry, but she HATED cats), she loved on any puppy she could get her hands on. Karen knew a lot about makeup – that is, CLOWN makeup as Dottie the Clown.

      In ways that we'll probably never know the extent of, she worked behind the scenes giving and doing for others. As an avid reader herself, Karen loved that Allison ran the school book fair. One day, she handed Allison money and said, “Give this to the older kids at the school who never get to shop at the book fair.” She bought cases and cases of Girl Scout Cookies from her granddaughters and never ate a box. She would give them away to the garbage man, the post office lady, the guy who changed their oil... She would say, “They work hard and deserve a little treat.” She also bought the Boy Scout popcorn from her grandson that got donated right to the military troops.

    Because we knew she would want us to, we took cookies for the nurses who were caring for her during her hospital stay, to which she gave us a thumbs-up and commented “damn right!”

     Her children learned acceptance and inclusivity from their mom and dad before those terms were ever popular. In the wise words of Karen, “I don’t care what you look like, how much money you have, who you love, just don’t be assholes.”

     As our family goes forth trying to live in this world that feels a little less bright, we will continue to serve others, pet all the puppies, laugh – a lot, love fiercely, give generously and not be assholes.

     She is survived by her husband Frank Abnet of Oakley, MI; son Andrew and Jonni Abnet of Saginaw, MI; daughter Allison and Steve Catrell of Shepherd, MI; four grandchildren Lili, Xavier, and Sabrina Catrell also Kaleb Phillips; brother Donald and Sherryl Robinson of Northern MI; brother Jerry and Teri Robinson of Frederick, MI; brother Gale and Cathy Robinson of Roscommon, MI; sister Connie Robinson of Owosso, MI; special niece Dori Frost; grand-nephew Jasper Frost.   Karen was preceded in death by her parents, parents-in-law John and Beatrice Abnet also a brother-in-law John "Cork" Abnet, Jr.

     A Celebration of Life will be held at Brady Township Hall, on Saturday, February 11, 2023, from 12:00-6:00 P.M., the family requests that you bring a dish to pass.  If there are any questions please email Memorials may be made to Leader Dogs for the Blind or American Lung Association. Online condolences can be sent to The family is being served by Smith Family Funeral Homes, Elsie, Michigan.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Karen Marie (Robinson) Abnet, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services

Celebration of Life

Saturday, February 11, 2023

12:00 - 6:00 pm (Eastern time)

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