Karen Rebecca (Sweat) Driskell, 79, of Williston, Florida, passed away from Parkinson’s complications on August 2, 2022. Karen was born on September 27, 1942, in Balm, Florida to Loyce David Sweat and Margaret Angeline Killion Sweat. After growing up in Wimauma, graduating from East Bay High School (including Girls State in Tallahassee), and attending the University of South Florida, she married another Hillsborough County native, Joseph Donald “Don” Driskell, on March 22, 1962, and they made their home in St. Petersburg, where he was a schoolteacher. After moving to Chowchilla, California for a brief two-year stay, they returned to Pinellas County and built a house in Seminole that she designed, living there for the next 49 years. Her resume would say “homemaker” and while that was true – her family never lacked a home-cooked meal, she was an expert seamstress, and she always made sure that her children never came home to an empty house – she was also the go-to mom whenever her children’s teachers needed an extra hand on a field trip. After Don retired from the school system, she became very involved in helping him with the Florida League of International Baccalaureate Schools continuing education programs.

Karen often talked about all-day gospel sings in her house while growing up and she’d sing along to an Elvis spiritual classic even after the disease robbed her of most speech. Baptized as a girl in Wimauma Lake, First Baptist Church in St. Petersburg was an important part of her life for nearly 60 years. Karen stayed active with Sunday School and other events until she and Don moved to Williston in 2019.

Karen enjoyed traveling throughout her life and although raising two children on one teacher’s income wasn’t easy, she always stretched the budget so that the family could camp on almost every 3-day weekend or holiday – state parks, Ft. Desoto, Thanksgiving trips to Manatee Springs with the Koinonia group – and they always had a summer vacation to the North Carolina mountains, Yellowstone, Colorado, or some other special place. Eventually, the camper gave way to plusher accommodations and travels took Karen and Don to Alaska, Europe, and China.

Karen is survived by her husband Don, son Greg (Martina) of Trenton, FL, daughter Laura Lowrimore (Steve) of Williston, FL, granddaughters Emily and Abigail Lowrimore, sister Dell Murdock, brother Mike Alderman, and brother Steve Alderman (Lisa), plus numerous nieces and nephews. She was predeceased by her parents, sister Delma Sweat Tatum, brother Lowell Sweat, brother Lyle Sweat, and by her stepfather, Jesse Alderman. Her family would like to thank the caregivers who have meant so much to her over the past year, especially Barbara, Susan, Ashley, Kimberly, and the staff at Haven Hospice.

She will be buried at Mt. Enon Cemetery in Plant City. A graveside service will be held later. In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations to the First Baptist Church of St. Petersburg, the Fixel Institute for Neurological Diseases (UF Health), or to Haven Hospice – Chiefland.

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