Cover photo for Karen Sue George's Obituary
Karen Sue George Profile Photo
1951 Karen 2023

Karen Sue George

August 21, 1951 — August 6, 2023

Indianapolis

Karen Sue George, our “KK”, ray of sunshine, card fanatic, Infomercial Queen, and owner of the world’s warmest smile, died Sunday August 6, 2023.

Karen was born in Indianapolis, Indiana on August 21, 1951 to loving parents Marie and James George. She spent her childhood with family - notably enjoying family dinners Marie prepared each Sunday - offering a seat at the table to anyone who needed it. Karen spent many days with her siblings and cousins at Westlake Swim Club and playing “school” and “church,” fighting over who would be the priest. During the summer, she loved to cashier at her dad’s grocery store, Jim’s Food Market. Karen was voted “Most Beautiful Eyes” in junior high school (we agree). Around that time, she met her lifelong friend, Nancy Main, competing over a boy. While neither “won,” they got a bigger prize – 60 years of friendship. 

Karen went on to graduate from North Central High School and started work as a Dental Assistant for Doctor McFall, a job she cherished until his retirement. Through the years, she became our family’s go-to gal for tooth pulling and dental advice. Karen continued her lifelong journey of collecting fans and friends, embarking on a career in the service industry. She drew crowds tending bar at various local watering holes, including the “old” Bulldog, before her first joint venture as a business owner with friend, Pat Flynn. She rounded out her career in partnership with her brother, Jim, as co-owner of George’s Neighborhood Grill, where her generous and welcoming spirit thrived.

Karen smiled with every part of her body and never knew a stranger, offering a hug and a “Hi, Honey” upon meeting anyone. The moment you met Karen you fell in love with her infectious personality and cheeky sense of humor. She didn’t judge her people based on their circumstances but welcomed them with unconditional love.

Upon meeting at a rugby banquet at the Bulldog Lounge, Karen developed a “schoolgirl crush” and went on to marry her Great Love, Brendon “Dooley” Phillips. They have been inseparable for 25 years and have built a life filled with laughter, friends, travel, and the occasional Chinese takeout. They enjoyed taking trips to New Zealand, where Dooley’s family lovingly referred to Karen as “The Baker.”

Karen and Dooley loved to entertain at their pool, where she was known to befriend birds, squirrels, and people alike by plying them with food and drink. Karen was a self-described garden “piddler,” often enticing you with a homemade (and half-baked) concoction to cure any ailment or bring you closer to the Fountain of Youth. She may have been the only modern-day woman still using the ThighMaster. True to her generous spirit, you often left Karen’s home with a souvenir – whether it be a leftover from the fridge, a super-find from Aldi, a household trinket, or an article of clothing that “didn’t quite suit her.” 

Karen was the second of four fiercely devoted siblings - Jamise, Karen, Barbara, and Jim. They reveled in each other’s success and carried life’s burdens together, no one enduring hardship alone. Thick as thieves, they set the foundation of “family over everything” for generations to come.

Although Karen did not have biological children, she was every bit a mother to her nieces and nephews, cherishing them as her own. KK played an integral part in raising “all her kids.” The millions of memories include sleepovers on Fall Creek Blvd., Shirley Temples at the Bulldog, driving lessons, lullabies at bedtime, vacations, pool time, countless dance parties, and lots of cards and games. Her great-nieces and nephews were also the lucky recipients of her fun and doting nature; it was an absolute honor to witness the cycle on repeat.

Karen is survived by her husband, Brendon “Dooley” Phillips, siblings Jamise Kafoure, Barbara Huff, and Jim George (Kristi); all of her “kids” Christina Nash (Chris), David Kafoure (Rodrigo), Sarah Bowling (Marcus), Laura DiSalvo (Joseph), Lisa Foley, Nicholas George (Rebecca), Adam George, and Marie George; countless cousins, great- nieces and nephews, her beloved Card Club, and cherished friends. She was preceded in death by her parents, James and Marie George; brother-in-law, John Huff; and aunts and uncles.   

Please share in the celebration of Our Sunshine on Saturday, August 12, 2023 at George’s Neighborhood Grill, 6935 Lake Plaza Drive. Visitation with family 3:30-5pm, Prayer and Remembrance – 5pm, Celebration to follow

In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to Peyton Manning Children’s Hospital (https://give.stvincent.org/) Cincinnati Children's Hospital (https://give.cincinnatichildrens.org/site/Donation), St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital (https://www.stjude.org/donate/donate-to-st-jude.html ), or the Indianapolis Humane Society (https://secure.indyhumane.org/site/Donation ).

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Karen Sue George, please visit our flower store.
In memory of Karen Sue George, please consider making a donation to one of the following charities:

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Celebration of Life

Saturday, August 12, 2023

3:30 - 5:00 pm (Eastern time)

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Saturday, August 12, 2023

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