Karen Kollmansperger

Hamilton County

Karen Kollmansperger, a well-known and highly respected Capitol Hill aide for more than 30 years, passed away on Tuesday, July 31, 2012, after a brave and lengthy struggle with cancer. She recently celebrated her 71st birthday.A native of Chattanooga, Ms. Kollmansperger was the daughter of Frank and Freda Sutherland Kollmansperger. She was the youngest of four siblings, her late brothers, Frank R. Kollmansperger and Charles P. Kollmansperger.She is survived by her sister, Katherine Klein, of Signal Mountain. She was the adored aunt of 20 surviving nieces and nephews, and many many grandnieces and grandnephews.Ms. Kollmansperger was a graduate of Notre Dame High School class of 1959 and remained friends with many of her classmates her whole life. Upon graduating from Vanderbilt University in 1963, she worked briefly for a Tennessee law firm, but quickly felt herself drawn to politics and public service. Working initially for U.S. Senator Bass (D-TN), she joined the staff of U.S. Senator Ernest F. "Fritz" Hollings (D-SC) in 1966. Save for a brief return to Tennessee to work in a gubernatorial campaign, she worked for the influential and colorful South Carolina lawmaker until she retired as his executive assistant in 1999. She had a front row seat through three decades of tumultuous national and Capitol Hill events and was privileged to know and work with many renowned Washington leaders.Told of Karens passing, Senator Hollings said "She had a unique sensitivity to Washington and how it worked and her political judgment was superb. She was the best."Known for her professionalism, candor and congeniality, Ms. Kollmansperger undertook to mentor dozens of young Congressional staffers, many still active in the corridors of the Capitol and throughout Washington, D.C. She had a remarkably wide circle of friends. Even in her final days, her doorway was lined with a constant stream of friends and family who loved her.Following her retirement, Karen travelled the globe extensively with friends and always enjoyed sharing insights, adventures and travel advice gleaned from her trips.Karen was a member of Our Lady Queen of Peace Catholic Church of Arlington, Va., where funeral services will be held for her on Saturday, Aug. 4, 2012, at 11 a.m. There will be a wake at Murphys Funeral Home, 4510 Wilson Boulevard, Arlington, Va., from 4-6 p.m. on Friday, Aug. 3.A celebration of Karens life will be held in Chattanooga, at a later date to be announced.Her family requests that in lieu of flowers, contributions be made to Our Lady Queen of Peace Catholic Church, 2700 South 19th Street, Arlington, VA 22204, or to the American Cancer Society, P.O. Box 22718, Oklahoma City, OK 73123.

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