Karin Kropat Sanchez




Karin Kropat Sanchez - Fuquay-Varina, formerly of Raeford, NC and Fayetteville, NC passed away Wednesday November 28, 2018.

A Celebration of Life will be held at 3:00 p.m. on Saturday, January 19, 2019 at the Thomas Funeral Home Chapel, 401 N Ennis Street, Fuquay-Varina, NC.

Born in Pogegen, East Prussia, Karin was a World War II refugee living in several cities in East Germany as a young child, then eventually moving to Berlin at the age of 15, which she always considered home.

She was the only child of Elma and Kurt Kropat, and leaves behind her five children, Mark Sanchez (wife, Mary), Raymond Sanchez, Patricia Webb (husband, Kenny), Katrina Kuczynski (husband, Ed), Selina Frizzell (husband, Jason); nine grandchildren; and five great-grandchildren to cherish her memory. Karin is also survived by her half-brother, Wilfred Domnick and his family of Berlin, Germany, as well as her cousin, Dr. Volker Rimkus of Strande, Germany.

Karin was preceded in death by her parents and her husband of 53 years – Retired, USA Special Forces, Master Sargent, Ray Sanchez. Karin and Ray met in Berlin and, after a brief courtship, married in 1957 and eventually settled in Fayetteville, NC where her husband Ray was stationed at Ft. Bragg, NC for the remainder of his military career.

Beginning in her late teens through her mid-twenties, Karin had a love of fashion and developed a keen sense of style, inspired by the haute couture of Berlin and later by American female movie stars of the era, such as Audrey Hepbern and Ava Gardner. Her fashion sense remained with her throughout life, always looking her best from head to toe before she stepped out of the house. Along with style, etiquette and proper manners were equally important to Karin and she instilled these values in her five children, with varying degrees of success.

As a young woman, Karin learned to sew and became an expert seamstress, sewing her wardrobe based on high fashion replicas. She sewed numerous matching outfits for her five children, as well as created lavish home interiors. Karin established her own company “Audora Manufacturing” in 1971, becoming the sole-proprietor of the successful design and manufacturing firm based in Fayetteville, NC, where she specialized in unique and handmade, high-end, decorator pillows. With the help of her husband and children, Karin’s business quickly grew, and soon her pillows became popular among retailers and were featured in various furniture store chains across North and South Carolina.

Then, in true entrepreneurial spirit, Karin managed to get herself booked as a guest on two local TV shows to promote her business. Her children delighted in watching her on television when she was featured on At Home with Peggy Mann and The Jim Burns Show where she was interviewed about her company and her beautiful work was showcased. She will always be remembered by her children as a fashion icon.

Karin was an avid gardener, born with a “green thumb”, she could make anything grow. During the springtime Karin could be found working in her vegetable garden or tending to her colorful ornamentals. Her house was always easy to spot, with splashes of color from a variety of annuals and perennials, from early spring tulips and daffodils to late summer zinnias and daisies. She also loved to read, with books always holding a place of prominence in her home. She especially loved her mystery and classic romance novels. Karin was an impeccable homemaker and a culinary expert who delighted in hosting large holiday and family celebrations. More than anything, she took pride in nurturing her large family.

Karin had a strong Christian faith and was true to her Lutheran upbringing. She often expressed her gratefulness for the blessings and peace that God provides. Throughout times of illness and life’s trials, she continued to glorify God.

Karin will always be lovingly remembered by her five children, her extended family, friends and neighbors as a loving mother, a caring, and kind-hearted individual who lived by “The Golden Rule” and brought happiness and joy into her home and to those around her.