Karen Van Rosendale, wife of John Van Rosendale and mother of Brian Van Rosendale, died suddenly on New Year’s Eve. Karen, a CPA, was working in her office in Newport News answering last minute tax questions. Her death was completely unexpected. There will be a memorial service Sunday at 3:00 at St. Stephens Lutheran Church in Williamsburg, Virginia.
Karen was born Nov 15, 1954, the daughter of Herbert and Edith Steinmuller. She grew up in Arlington and McLean, suburbs of Washington, D.C. and has three sisters, Christina Steinmuller, Susan Carlson and Carol Jarrell. Always an A student, Karen graduated in Business and Accounting from the College of William and Mary. After several career moves, she became a partner in the small accounting firm Hart & Steinmuller, P.C. She met her future husband John at a ballroom dancing class and they married April 27, 1997. The following year they had a son, Brian, a Computer Science student at Virginia Tech. Hart & Steinmuller merged with the larger firm Malvin, Riggins, & Company, P.C. a few years later, providing Karen with a more relaxed schedule and allowing her to spend more time with her family.
Karen loved nature. The Van Rosendale family visited Yosemite, Sequoia, and Mount Rainier N.P. many times, camping and hiking the trails. In fact, one of Karen and John’s early “dates” was hiking to the bottom of the Grand Canyon. The Van Rosendale family had been planning future National Park vacations, including one this spring.
Karen was the loving aunt to more than a dozen nieces, nephews, grandnieces and grandnephews. Karen attended St. Stephens Lutheran Church in Williamsburg starting in her college days. She liked St. Stephens’ intimate church-in-the-round design, originally created by Thomas Jefferson, and the church’s friendly atmosphere. Karen and John were married there, Brian was baptized there, and Karen was the Treasurer there for many years. Though the planned family vacations with Karen can now never happen, the family just celebrated a lovely Christmas and participated in the beautiful candlelight Christmas Eve service at St. Stephens. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to St. Stephens or to the National Park Foundation.