Sept. 29, 1949-Jan. 10, 2024

Karan Hudson Cherry passed away peacefully in her sleep on Wednesday, Jan. 10, at the age of 74. Her years-long battle with cancer shaped but certainly never defined her as a wife, mother, sister and friend.

Karan was born in Memphis, Tennessee, on Sept. 29, 1949, to Frank and Bettye Hudson. The second of three children, Karan relished summer breaks at the Hudson family reunion in Mississippi, developed a lifelong love for sewing, loved singing and dancing with her father and inherited her mother’s qualities as a hostess, avid shopper, housekeeper, and runner of errands.

Best we can tell from historical accounts, Karan only got in trouble once as a child (something about running away from a disappointing birthday party experience). She is one of the few who was gifted a broom with her name on it by her father.

Karan went to school at Memphis State (now the University of Memphis) where she earned a degree in secondary education with a minor in home economics. After graduating in 1972, she got her first job at Memphis Light, Gas & Water where she worked as a home economist and met her lifelong friend Rosemary Klein. That friendship led Karan to join the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. In Karan’s own words, “Finally my life took shape and I found the meaning I was looking for.”

Johnny and Karan met through Johnny’s Bishop, Donald Searcy (who, with his wife, remained Karan’s lifelong friends). He gave Johnny Karan’s number and said, “Call her.” One of the first times Karan saw Johnny he was wearing a flannel shirt, jeans and cowboy boots — and Karan was sold. About a year later they were married in the Washington D.C. Latter-day Saint Temple and together they raised four children.

Karan was a baby-whisperer, helping her daughters and many other young mothers care for newborn babies. She found joy in church service over the years and often performed quiet acts of service such as preparing a meal or making a loaf of bread for those who were in need of kindness. Karan met friends everywhere she went — while on the treadmill at the local gym, in line at the grocery store or on an airport shuttle. This quality has become a cherished memory for her children.

Johnny and Karan moved from Memphis, Tennessee, to St. George, Utah, in 2021, leaving behind many dear friends who still remain in touch. In recent months and weeks, Karan found great joy in spending time with her St. George Ladies (who considered her the “heart of the herd”) playing games and enjoying the occasional meal out. She was so happy to live closer to her daughters, sons-in-law and grandchildren.

She is survived by her husband of almost 44 years, Johnny; her four children — Kristen (Matt), Leigh (José), Hugh (Tammy), and Rachael (Brent); her sister, Donna; and 11grandchildren —Rachel, Sara, Tyler, Emily, Natalie, Naomi, Rafe, Caleb, Hudson, Nora, and Maggie.

A viewing will take place on Tuesday, Jan. 16 from 6-8 p.m. at McMillan Mortuary: 499 E. Tabernacle St., St. George.

Funeral services will be held Wednesday, Jan. 17 at 11 a.m. at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 750 E. Fort Pierce Drive North, St. George. A viewing will be held prior to funeral services from 9:30-10:45 a.m. Interment will be in Tonaquint Cemetery.

In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to the Dove Center of St. George, UT, a local non-profit providing shelter, advocacy, and counseling to women in need in southern Utah.

Condolences may be shared on the McMillan Mortuary website.