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Karen Salley



Karen Salley (nee Klinger), age 70 passed away suddenly and unexpectedly at her summer home in Wildwood Crest, N.J. on Friday, December 29, 2017.

Karen was born and raised in Chicago, later moving to South Holland ,Il., before finally settling in Wayne, NJ thirty five years ago. Karen’s father passed away while she was still quite young, leaving her to learn tough life lessons at a young age. Lessons she would pass on to her family and friends throughout her life allowing her to connect with so many. She attended Thornridge High School in Dolton, IL (class of 1965) and immediately joined the workforce after graduating. She found work at the Insurance Company of North America (INA) in Chicago and over a 10 year career grew her title to Regional Administrator.

Her time at INA was special not just professionally but also personally. In 1973, another INA employee named Roy Salley working in the New York office was transferred to Chicago as part of a promotion. It was this move from New York to Chicago that the beginning of both their lives would start to take shape. A short time after Roy arrived, they were set up on a date by a co-worker. This first date was a St. Patrick’s Day Party in a county park near Chicago where they basically, “stood around, talked, and drank beer.” in the snow! Although hardly a romantic, fairy-tale first date, as fate would have it, Roy and Karen fell in love. They dated a few years and on September 25, 1976 were married at Church of the Holy Name in Dolton, IL honeymooning in Wildwood Crest, NJ. Karen was of the Catholic Faith but converted to Episcopalian upon marrying Roy and remained a woman of strong faith. Karen and Roy cherished over forty years of loving and loyal marriage.

Karen and Roy settled in Dolton, IL immediately after marriage. They bought a home in nearby South Holland and began building their lives and family together. The next five years brought them three healthy children and in 1982 Roy’s work transferred him once again, this time back east. They moved to New Jersey and decided Wayne would be the place they call home and raise their children.

The move east meant Karen would be leaving behind her career and family to support that of her husbands while giving her kids the idyllic upbringing she wanted for them. This level of devotion and sacrifice came so naturally to her and is a small example of her many traits we will miss.

Immediately, Karen and Roy became active within the congregation of St. Michael’s Episcopal Church along with the Wayne PAL, where their kids played sports. Both organizations had a valuable impact on Karen and Roy. Not knowing at the time but the friendships they formed from their involvement would last a lifetime. Karen was also very active in the PTA where her children went to school and also found a part-time position as a Teacher’s Aid in the Wayne public Schools. Moving to New Jersey also brought out her love of the Jersey Shore. Karen and her family spent many summer days at various NJ Shore points. Karen fell so in love with the Wildwood’s that she plotted with her husband’s mother to purchase a home there. In 1994, 18 years after her initial honeymoon visit to Wildwood, Karen and her mother-in-law found “the perfect place,” and called her husband telling him the big news.

In addition to the Jersey Shore Karen got to visit outside the United States. Roy’s career allowed for global trips that often included spouses. The two traveled to many exotic locations around the world including Tokyo, Singapore, Sweden and France. One of the most memorable trips being a villa on the French Riviera that included Karen and Roy’s parents and kids.

Aside from all her interests and hobbies, her greatest passion was her family. Nothing meant more to Karen than being and spending quality time with her family. She was a devoted wife, mother and grandmother and was especially close to her daughters in law, Kimmy and Tonya . She was an extraordinary person, loving, caring, and compassionate. She touched the lives of many, many people. She will be truly missed by everyone who knew her.

Karen is survived by her husband Roy of Wayne, two sons; Roy Salley II and his wife, Tonya of Cedar Grove and Shaun Salley and his wife, Kimberly of Riverdale, one daughter Colleen Salley of Morristown, her mother Shirlee Klinger of Portage, IN, one brother; Jack Klinger of Crown Point, IN, four grandchildren; Rebecca Salley, Morgan Salley, Ava Salley, and Henry Salley, as well as several nieces, nephews, and cousins.  Karen is survived by her in laws whom she had a close bond; Nancy and Roy Salley, Kim and Jim Salley, Scott and Amy Salley, and Wayne and Diane Salley.  She is also survived by two of her dogs; Elizabeth Taylor and Nora.

Friends may visit with the family from 4-8PM on Saturday, January 6, 2018 at the VanderMay Wayne Colonial Funeral Home, 567 Ratzer Rd, Wayne, NJ. A memorial service will be held at a future date and will be posted as soon as it is scheduled.


Guest Book


After deliberating and arguing, Mike and I decided to take the plunge and purchase a beach house in our favorite place, Diamond Beach, NJ. Little did we know we would also be blessed with the nicest neighbors directly across the street. Mike and Roy soon learned they share a love of red wine and Karen invited me over to see their back patio when we were planning to redo ours. She always greeted us with a beautiful smile and wave while entertaining her beautiful grandchildren on the porch. A few weeks ago I placed a note on their front door announcing we will be first time grandparents in May. The next time we were down she knocked on the door and came in to congratulate us. I hope to be half the awesome grandmother she was to her beautiful grandchildren. God bless your family and know that you are truly in our thoughts and prayers everyday during this difficult time. Fondly, Mary, Mike, Ashley, Ryan and Stacey Babula

Mary and Mike Babula


We have only met Karen a few times, but her warm, kind personality was instantly felt. Karen's beautiful family is a wonderful reflection of her love and devotion. Shared good times will be held in your hearts forever. You are in our thoughts and prayers. Kathy & Joe Leo

Kathy & Joe Leo


We want to give our sincerest condolences to the family. Karen was such a kind, loving person with the most beautiful smile..She has touched so many lives and will be dearly missed. Our thoughts and prayers are with you all..All Our Love, Nick and Jodie

Jodie Delli Santi


I am so sorry to hear of Karen’s sudden passing! I had the pleasure of working with her at APTerhune many years ago. She was such a truly nice person! May your faith,family and friends be a comfort to you all at this time. You are in my thoughts and prayers. Sincerely, Lynne Kupetz

Lynne Kupetz


We were little girls when we met and became friends. We became more than friends, we became family. Our summers were spent with neighborhood kids playing ball, shooting marbles, swimming, playing in the park and riding our bikes all over town. Winters we were outside in the snow, sledding or ice skating. We all walked to and from school together, always laughing. I remember when she was in her cousin Carol's wedding and how excited she was. I remember when she met Roy and how their relationship became a life long romance. I remember standing up for her at their wedding, the birth of each of her children and how in love with them she was. I remember the night before you all moved to NJ and how we cried. I remember walking on the Atlantic City Boardwalk with her and Lisa when a bird pooped on Lisa's head. Karen and I laughed so hard as we were running from the bird. Lisa failed to see the humor. I have so many memories of her and all are wonderful. She loved you all so very much. She will be missed. Cindy

Cindy Crawford


Roy, so sorry to hear of your mom's sudden passing. Our thoughts and prayers are with you and your family.

Ray & Dianne Bonanno

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