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Karen Louise (Braunlin) Hand, age 71


Karen Louise (Braunlin) Hand, age 71 of Las Cruces, NM died on March 6, 2024, in the presence of family. She was born in Dayton, Ohio on August 20,1952 to the late Edgar and Ethel Braunlin. Karen graduated from Julienne High School, earned her Baccalaureate degree in Nursing from St. Louis University, her master’s degree in Cardiovascular Nursing from St. Louis University, and her PhD in Nursing from New Mexico State University.

In her professional career she was an intensive care nurse, a cardiovascular nurse specialist, health care administrator and nursing professor.  She was an active supporter of numerous organizations, and served on many local, state, and national boards. Karen was kind, graceful, intelligent, and generous with her time and many talents.  She set goals for herself, believed in her capabilities and work ethic, and didn’t allow any obstacles to stop her from achieving her dreams.  

            Karen’s family was her greatest joy and legacy.  The same characteristics Karen portrayed in her career made her a great Mom to her four daughters.  She was compassionate, always supportive and had unlimited love for her daughters.  It was Karen’s presence in their lives that launched them towards the successful women they are today.  Karen will be remembered by her family as one who modeled mutual love and respect, helped her children learn meaningful roles in family, problem solving skills, networks of support, commitment, responsible choices and emotional expression. 

             Karen was a great wife to her husband David.  They were best friends and had a love that lasted for over 20 fun filled years of marriage.  Karen was committed to her life partner, they shared joys, sorrows, laughter, and tears in their life together.    

Karen is preceded in death by her parents and younger brother Mark Braunlin. She is survived by her husband, David Hand of Las Cruces, daughters- Anne Hempstead of Albuquerque: Lindsay (Charlie) Chenowith of Palm Coast,  FL.; Julie Hempstead (Meghan) of Palm City, FL; and Nancy Martin (David) of Albuquerque, NM; Stepchildren Audrey (OT) Thomas; Bryant (Jeniffer) Hand; Jeremy (Nicole) Hand; Leslie (Tom) Stoltz; Allison (Anthony) Bryant; Austin (Laura) Hand. Karen is also survived by brothers Daniel (Jeri Lynn) Braunlin, Paul (Heidi) Braunlin, James Braunlin, and sister-in-law Chris Braunlin. She leaves 18 grandchildren and numerous other relatives, friends, and colleagues.

The family will greet friends from 5:00 - 6:30 PM on March 15, 2024, at Getz funeral home. A Prayer Vigil will be said thereafter.  A Mass of Christian Burial will be held at St. Albert the Great Newman Center on March 16, 2024, at 10 AM.

For a memorial, please consider a donation to New Mexico State University Foundation for the benefit of The Dr. Karen Louise Hand Nursing Endowed Scholarship Fund, P.O.Box 3590, Las  Cruces, NM 88003-3500. 

The family would like to thank the medical and nursing staffs in Denver and Las Cruces for their care and compassion. Condolences may be sent to the family by visiting www.getzcares.com. 

Obituary, Karen Louise (Braunlin) Hand,