Karen Gernenz Youngman (T-16)

February 16, 1946 – April 16, 2017

Karen Gernenz Youngman, age 71, of Charlotte, NC died at home on April 16, 2017 of complications from cancer. She was born February 16, 1946 in Chicago, IL to the late Rev. Albert and Winnie Gernenz. She later moved to Springfield, IL where she spent most of her childhood. In 1968, she married Edward Alexander (Lex) Youngman in Springfield.

Karen graduated Magna Cum Laude from Denison University in 1968 with a Bachelor’s Degree in French. In 1972, she received her Masters Degree in French from The Ohio State University. From 1968 – 1970, she and Lex served as Peace Corps Volunteers in Eskisehir, Turkey, teaching English as a Second Language. She was later an outstanding full-time ESL instructor at Central Piedmont Community College in Charlotte for fifteen years, retiring in 2011.

As a deeply committed Christian, Karen was regularly involved in ministry activities. She was a member of Resurrection Lutheran Church in Charlotte for twenty-six years where she and Lex were active in congregational leadership roles. At the time of her death, she was a member of All Saints Anglican Church in Matthews, NC. While at All Saints, she formed and directed the CareNet, a pastoral care ministry designed to meet parishioners’ practical needs. Above all, she was a shining example of Christian womanhood to those who knew her.

In her personal life, Karen was a gifted artist and writer, inspired interior designer, wise counsellor, gracious hostess, constant friend and loving wife. She is survived by her husband of 49 years, Lex Youngman of Charlotte, and by her sister, Susan Kay Wright of Rome, GA.


Association of Returned Peace Corps Volunteers and Friends of Turkey