On Saturday, February 25, 2023, Karen Martha Pilc Hensley, loving wife, sister, aunt, mother, and grandmother, passed away at age 80. Karen was born in Queens to John Pilc Jr and Marie Dvorak Pilc. An early trailblazer, Karen earned a bachelor’s degree from City College of New York and pursued a graduate degree in economics at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill. It was during her time as a Tarheel that Karen met her lifelong partner and husband, Michael J Hensley. Karen and Michael were married on a beautiful summer day in June in Astoria, N.Y. Always selfless, Karen set aside her academic pursuits to take on the role of sole provider while Michael attended Bowman Gray Medical School.
Karen was most proud of her children and grandchildren. She was the consummate mother and grandmother, doting on each of her three grandchildren, Katherine, Andrew, and James. To family and friends, she was the sun; the days were brighter, and holidays were made warmer by her presence. She lived with a passion for life, travel, cards, learning, and college basketball. Ever the competitor, she relished organizing family card tournaments, outings, and March Madness basketball pools. She is survived by her daughters, Sharon H. Jones and Lisa Hensley, her grandchildren, her brother Randolph Pilc, and her sisters-in-law Elaine Poukish and Michele Hensley. May the light, joy, and warmth she brought to so many continue to shine bright and bring comfort to all whose lives she has touched.
In lieu of flowers the family is asking that donations be made in Karen’s name to either the Coalition for Hemophilia B (https://www.hemob.org/donate) or the Chron’s and Colitis Foundation (https://online.crohnscolitisfoundation.org).
Walker’s Funeral Home in Chapel Hill is assisting the family.