Karren Waid

Karren WaidFrom the Chicago Tribune:

Karren J. Waid, 23, a Peace Corps volunteer in Togo, West Africa, died Monday in a bus accident in Togo.

Miss Waid, who was living in Naloag in Togo and formerly resided in Wilmette, was fighting off the encroachment of the desert in Togo by digging wells and planting trees there. She was on her way to a Togo Women in Development committee meeting when she was killed.

“She spoke the local language and considered the people in her village part of her family,” said Mandi Summers, a friend and fellow Peace Corps volunteer there.

“She was compassionate, caring and confident. Karren had been there for more than a year and had just completed two wells, one of them in her village. She was also working with a tree nursery to plant native species and to grow ones that could improve the soil for farming. She had a real relationship with the people.”

She graduated from New Trier High School in 1987 and from Wheaton College in 1991. Before her senior year, she spent the summer in Japan at the English Language Teaching Institute, teaching children English. After graduation, she worked for several months in a cannery in Alaska.

“She loved a challenge,” said her sister, Beth Prince. “She was offered a cushier job in the Peace Corps teaching but turned it down.”

Survivors include her parents, Gene and Judy; two grandmothers, Elinore Berglund and Miriam Waid; and three sisters.

Visitation will be from 4 to 8 p.m. Sunday in the N.H. Scott & Hebblewaite Funeral Home, 1240 Waukegan Rd., Glenview. Memorial services will be at 11 a.m. Monday in the Winnetka Bible Church, Birch and Elm Streets, Winnetka.

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