Karen LaGrasta '82 September 2, 2022 10:59 AM updated: September 2, 2022 11:11 AM
Karen Ranae Yates LaGrasta
December 23, 1959 - August 21, 2022
Karen Ranae Yates LaGrasta was born to her loving parents Mildred Benson and James Dewey Yates in Hereford, Texas on December 23, 1959. Her sister Diana Yates Hale welcomed her home. James was employed by the Federal Land Bank and Southwestern Life Insurance Company where they lived in several cities before settling in Houston in 1965. Karen grew up attending Shadow Oaks Elementary and Spring Oaks Junior High before graduating from Spring Woods High School in 1978. She was active during high school venturing into class politics and other leadership positions culminating into being elected Student Body President as a Senior. After graduation from Spring Woods (Go Tigers!), Karen attended Texas A&M University starting in the Fall Semester of 1978 (Whoop!). In the Spring Semester of 1979, she met Steve LaGrasta (We can talk Big “G” and Little “g” sometime later). After his graduation in 1979, they were married in Houston on December 15, 1979 with her father, James, officiating the ceremony.
Steve was employed by Prudential in San Antonio and Karen joined him at their first apartment on Bitters Road. She secured a job at Commercial Credit as an administrative assistant. Moving upward she was next employed by Philip Barshop as his personal assistant. His involvement with commercial real estate prompted her to earn the designation as a Certified Property Manager (CPM) along with a Texas Real Estate Broker License. She held these esteemed and coveted titles for over 35 years. In May 1987, Karen and Steve were blessed with their first son Stephen Michael Lagrasta II (Mikey). Three months after his birth the family relocated to Katy and joined her father’s real estate appraisal firm. In October 1989, Karen and Steve were blessed with their second son James Daniel Lagrasta (Jamie). Karen juggled between being a Mom and a real estate broker, but it was always Mom first. Her sons grew up in the Cinco Ranch area of Katy, both graduating from Cinco Ranch High School. After high school they attended and graduated from Texas A&M University in 2010 and 2012. Mikey and Jamie completed her happiness by both joining the firm of YATES-LAGRASTA of which she now was the sole owner. They would represent the third generation in the family business.
Through the years in Katy, Karen had a passion for cooking and entertaining. Friends and family would look forward to her annual Halloween Party followed by numerous graduation and holiday gatherings. She hosted baby showers, wedding showers, birthdays and anniversaries. Karen also filled her time with daily walking, gardening, scrapbooking, and family ancestry. In June 2022, Karen was diagnosed with Chiari Malformation. This malady caused several issues with the main one being a lack of swallowing. Neurosurgery was performed in July 2022 and after 59 days of fighting in three different hospitals, Karen ran out of time against this formidable foe and passed from this earth into God’s Hands on August 21, 2022 at age 62. Karen was a sixth generation Texan being a member of both The Daughters of the Republic of Texas (DRT) and The Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR). Karen and Steve were members of the Fry Road Church of Christ and the Cy-Fair Church of Christ during their time in Katy. She was instrumental in bringing many to Christ, including her husband and sons, through her bible class teaching, personal demeanor, and willingness to serve others. She taught bible class beginning as a teenager and it continued throughout her life.
Her devotion to her family was unsurpassed. She doted over her sons, husband, and mother always trying to smooth their way in life. Karen loved being in Menard. This was Mildred’s hometown and she often spoke of her summers with her cousins learning to drive, fish, and cook. She was witty and sarcastic with a favorite saying being “It’s about time!” when a person accomplished a goal, knowing how proud she really was of them. She was gracious, loving, generous, and tough. Karen was a faithful Christian, a devoted wife, a wonderful mother, along with being an example and friend to many.
Karen is survived by her husband of 42 years Steve, her sons Michael and James, her mother Mildred, and her sister Dee. She is also survived by her nephews Douglas James, Derrick Yates, and Dalton Thomas Hale, Nick and Mitch Lagrasta and their parents Marne and Fred Lagrasta. A joy in her life were her great nieces Madeline, Savannah, and Riley James Hale along with her numerous cousins and extended family. She was preceded in death by her father James, infant sister Evalon Kathryn, grandparents Roy and Margaret Benson, grandparents Bill and Mattie Kay Yates Crosswhite, brother-in-law Douglas K. Hale, and mother and father-in-law Barbara and Dan LaGrasta.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests memorials be made to the Texas A&M Foundation, 401 George Bush Drive, College Station, Texas, 77840. Online Gifts: txamfoundation.com/give; Under “Select a Unit or College”; Choose: The General Memorial
The family will receive friends from 2:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. on Sunday, August 28, 2022 at the Schmidt Funeral Home Chapel, in Katy, where a memorial service will be held at 3:00 p.m. on Sunday.