- Published: Sunday, 30 October 2016 23:28
The Maryland Horsemen’s Assistance Fund has scheduled a memorial service to celebrate the life of Karen Ann Pryzbyla, a long-time pony person who died Oct. 24 after a lengthy battle with leukemia. She was 64.
The service will be held Nov. 3 at 11:30 a.m. in TIPS in the Laurel Park clubhouse. On Nov. 1 at 6:30 p.m., a memorial service will be held at Donaldson Funeral Home Chapel, which is located at 313 Talbott Ave. in Laurel.
Lisa McKlveen, an outrider on the Maryland circuit, said Pryzbyla was very instrumental in her career and assisted many others who work on the racetrack.
“She was my boss,” McKlveen said. “She always took care of me when I first started in the pony business. She was like that with everyone. She never had children of her own, so she treated me and my friend like daughters.
“When she found out about (her condition) she said she was going to come back to work but that didn’t happen. Karen always strong like that—she had a lot of hope she’d come back."
“She was a class act in the Maryland racing community and always had a radiant smile,” said Bobby Lillis, who directs the horsemen’s assistance fund. “She was my go-to person if I ever needed to find another pony person. She knew everybody and everybody knew her and loved her.”
Pryzbyla, who resided in Laurel, is survived by her husband, Ed; sisters Vickey and Barbara and a brother, Bill; and several nieces and nephews.