Karen Dreyer Friedman was born on Jan. 13, 1970, the precious baby daughter of Ernestene and Robert Dreyer. She made a “his” and “hers” family into an “OURS” family, becoming the baby sister of six older siblings. Being such a beautiful and precocious little girl, she became the darling and apple of the eye of a large clan of aunts, uncles and cousins, spoiled by all who loved her. She grew up to be an athlete, playing for many years with Chastain NYO softball. She was also an artist from a young age, with well-known Atlanta artist Faye Gold being our next-door neighbor and giving her personal art lessons for years. In high school at Northside School of Performing Arts, class of 1987, she became part of a talented and amazing group of young performers and technicians who made up “Tour Group,” Billy Densmore’s stars. As a “techie” she traveled to Japan, Germany, Belgium and London to bring a piece of Broadway to the masses. As an adult, Karen loved to bowl. She loved going to art festivals. She loved to cook, watching movies, hiking and any activity that included nature and the great outdoors.
But the very thing that Karen loved best was to travel with her friends around the world and across continents to attend Widespread Panic shows. Wanderlust had blossomed in her heart with her past group traveling experiences, along with a love of all genres of music from all over the world. Karen was a “Spreadhead” in the first degree. Her life, her passion and her joy were found from city to city, from hotel room to hotel room, with the community of young people that enveloped a way of life that produced intense and lasting friendships based on the music of a band that promotes Peace, Love and Panic. Karen found her Prince Charming, her soulmate, among the WSP family: Dave Friedman. Over the course of several years, many tours and countless shows, Dave and Karen fell in love, and, of course, he proposed to her on tour, surrounded by their amazing and supportive crew of friends.
Karen and Dave were married on Feb. 17, 2007, by Rabbi Steven Lebow in front of friends and family in a ceremony that was so filled with love and devotion. The kind of love and devotion that continued for the next eight years. They had two Maine Coon cats, named Nibblet and Nugget, who were very much their baby boys.
Karen Dreyer Friedman, 45 years old, died Friday, March 27, suddenly and unexpectedly from a pulmonary embolism. She is survived by her husband, Dave Friedman; her parents, Robert and Ernestene Dreyer; and her siblings, Sherri (Dr. Jerry Kramer) Dreyer Kramer, Barry Froug Dreyer and Tricia Froug Dreyer, all of Atlanta, Susan (Tim Nichols) Dreyer Nichols of Dallas, Texas, Barbara (Dr. Ed Green) Dreyer Pomer of Greensboro, N.C., and Alan Dreyer of Winston-Salem, N.C. She is also survived by her in-laws, Al and Sandy Friedman of Murrells Inlet, S.C., and formerly of Baltimore, and her 11 wonderful nieces and nephews (in order of appearance), Kelli Meyer, Russell Dreyer, Alex Pomer, Holden Dreyer, Joshua Blanton, Zach Pomer, Hilary Phillips, Emily Nichols, Ryan Phillips, Sloane Dreyer and Eric Nichols.
Contributions can be made in Karen’s memory to the Michael Houser Music Fund, Athens Academy, P.O. Box 6548, Athens, Ga. 30304. This fund provides children with the opportunities to discover the richness and wonder of music that so enriched the lives of Michael and Karen.
For more information, visit www.housertribute.com.