January 7, 1951 ~ April 16, 2019
Karen Thatcher Hill
1/7/1951 - 4/16/2019
Karen was born in Lynwood, CA on January 7, 1951 to parents Bernard Thatcher and Dorothy (nee DuBois) Thatcher. She grew up in Santa Fe Springs, CA attending
St. Pius X Elementary School and St. Paul High School. Her extended family, consisting of many dear Rugh cousins, helped to round out a happy childhood. Karen passed away, April 16, 2019 in Santa Monica after an extended illness.
After graduating high school in 1969, she entered college at Oregon State University. She eventually transferred to UCLA. In the mid- 70’s, she began an intense Court Reporting program and graduated at the top of her class.
Shortly after receiving her Court Reporter license she began working at various courthouses in LA County, eventually settling into the Los Angeles Superior Court in Compton. Most of her years were spent working on extremely high paced and some high profile cases and she thrived on her busy work schedule. It was at that courthouse where she met her future husband, Judge Hugo E. Hill.
Karen and Hugo were married on February 12, 1994 by Retired Superior Court Judge Stanley R. Malone Jr. in Marina Del Rey, CA. Hugo and Karen spent numerous hours discussing law, penal codes and cold cases. They had an uncanny ability to pick up for each other mid-sentence about anything pertaining to the justice system.
Karen was happiest spending time with Hugo and they traveled extensively together for many years. Hugo passed away August 3, 2001 and the Compton Courthouse employees helped Karen adjust to life without her mate. Karen eventually retired in 2003.
Karen was well read and known for her wit. She would never miss a chance to tell a sometimes long but hilarious story based on her own wacky life experiences. She always sought out the quiet person at the party and got them involved. Strangers became friends immediately, especially when she was rolling with Hugo, the true love of her life, and a charismatic pair they were. She loved music - she was mouthing the words to a Beatles song when she went to sleep. She spent some of her retirement helping the homeless at local churches and set up a college scholarship in Hugo’s name. No party or get together will ever be the same without her shining light to spark up the proceedings.
Karen is survived by her siblings, Mike Thatcher of Redondo Beach, CA and Dianne Wrona of Chico, CA. Her brother-in-law, Ed Wrona, was a reliable source for fixing things around Karen’s house each time the Wrona’s came to visit her on vacation. She held her nieces and nephews in high regard and was always the “fun Aunt”. She thought of them as her own children and they enjoyed filling her in on their latest adventures. Her “kids” carrying on her spirit are Carianne Wrona (fiancé Christopher), Paul Wrona,
Dr. Pamela Wrona PsyD, Claire Thatcher and Jack Thatcher. Karen’s husband, parents and sister-in-law Kelley Thatcher, pre-deceased her along with her close Aunt and Uncle (bonus parents) Wally and Helen Jeanne Rugh.
A Celebration of Life for Karen will be at a later TBD date.
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