Dr. Karen Adler Storthz, born August 31, 1954, in Alexandria, Louisiana, the daughter of Homer and Marilyn Adler, died at her home in Houston on June 6, 2017 at the age of 62. She is survived by her three favorite people of all time: husband Joe Storthz; daughter Amy Storthz of Houston; and brother, Dr. Rhodes Adler (Annick) of Hudson, New York. She also leaves behind loving in-laws, Chester and Carol Storthz, and Jenny Boshears all from Little Rock, along with beloved nieces and nephews, and a host of cherished friends from across the country – from the Deep South to the Oregon coast, from New Hampshire to New Mexico and beyond.
Karen and Joe spent treasured time at their adobe retreat in Taos, skiing, hiking, mountain climbing, enjoying the local venues, the magnificent view of the Sacred Mountain, and their deep friendships forged there.
She was a competitor, always striving to excel, especially when it came to tennis and mahjong. She loved beautiful jewelry and art, wearing the jewelry and filling every room with the artwork. Always generous with her time and expertise, she chose to mentor young scientists and quietly gave help to many others in her life.
Karen was Louisiana fun, Texas tough, and Ph.D. smart. She received her Bachelor’s, Master’s, and Doctoral degrees (microbiology/immunology) from LSU and became Associate Dean of Research at the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston. During her tenure there, she published hundreds of papers, many on cancer research. She may have lost a hard-fought and courageous battle with cancer, but her work will help win the war against this terrible disease.
Karen retired from the UT system in 2012 and became Professor Emerita. She was also a Fellow at the National Institutes of Health, receiving many distinguished honors and awards. Not only are her loved ones grieving, but her colleagues at UT and Rice mourn the loss of a thought-leader and an inspiring friend with her passing.
For all of us who loved and knew her, Karen was our rock.
Though Death took her prematurely, Karen’s days were filled with enough love, brilliance, and memorable experiences for several lifetimes. Her zest for living was unsurpassed, and she will remain young and in our hearts forever.
Donations in Karen’s memory may be made to Stand Up to Cancer (SU2C), Congregation Beth Israel, the JCC of Greater Houston, or the charity of your choice.