Karen Bishop Balog

Published 8:18 pm Saturday, May 9, 2020

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Sunday, March 29, 2020, Karen Bishop Balog lost her courageous battle with cancer at the age of 48. Her family had gathered the day before at a house on Lake Gaston, allowing Karen to see her whole family one last time and then departed peacefully surrounded by her loving family.

Karen was born June 24, 1971 in Burlington, Vermont and was the daughter of Kenneth and Beverly Bishop. Her young years were spent in Stowe and Springfield on the family farm where her love for animals grew. She enjoyed the mountains, skiing, basketball, field hockey and excelled in school.

Karen graduated from Stowe High School in 1989 and received a Bachelor’s degree in animal science from the University of Vermont in 1993. After college, she moved to Wyoming and worked at a veterinarian hospital where she adopted a Rhodesian Ridgeback named Tanner.

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After moving back east to North Carolina, she began working with the Albemarle hope-line in E.C. before settling on the OBX. For the next several years, she worked and became the face of the Dare County Arts Council. Then in 2006, Karen became corporate administrative assistant to Robert Wells and managed all licenses for seven Southern Insurance agencies. After the acquisition, she was promoted to oversee all licensing for Towne Insurance in 2015. In 2019 Karen was promoted to assistant vice president in recognition of her many contributions and accomplishments at Towne Insurance.

Once living in the OBX, her passion for saving sea turtles grew and she became involved with N.E.S.T. She spent many hours nest sitting and sharing her knowledge of sea turtles. Soon, she became the coordinator of N.E.S.T. Through her efforts, a board of directors was formed, a website launched and the STAR center at the NC Aquarium in Manteo became a reality. Karen became the “voice of the sea turtles” through social media.

In 2012, she met Bob, the love of her life, and on October 17, 2015 they were married on a beautiful sunny day on the beach in Kitty Hawk. They built a beautiful life and home together in Grandy and loved each other and their yellow lab Kota.

Karen is survived by her husband Robert “Bob” Balog, mother Beverly Bishop and brothers Peter, Christopher and Jeffrey Bishop. She touched the lives of so many friends and loved ones that she will sorely be missed.

The families give their heartfelt thanks to Bob‘s Uncle and Aunt, Dr. Harry and Rita Lustig, for their guidance and generous loving help throughout Karen‘s illness.

On March 30, Rev. Pius Wekesa celebrated mass for Karen on the shore of Lake Gaston in a small private service for the family. A “Celebration” of Karen’s life will be held later when the COVID-19 social distancing is relaxed.

In lieu of flowers, donations can be made in Karen’s name to N.E.S.T. PO Box 1073, Kitty Hawk, NC, 27949. Checks payable to N.E.S.T.