Continued from A1
At 40, she was a partner in Wiley Rein & Fielding,
which specializes in communication law and an
adjunct professor at Catholic University’s Columbus
School of Law. Prior to joining the firm in 1993,
Karen served as a senior attorney-advisor for the
Private Radio Bureau, at the Federal Communications
Commission from 1989 to 1993.
From 1987 to 1989 she clerked for the Honorable J.
Smith Hensley, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth
Circuit and from 1986 to 1987 she clerked for the
Honorable Leo Oxenberger, Chief Judge, Iowa Court
of Appeals. She received her B.A. from Central
College and her J.D. from Drake University in 1986.
Karen was on her way to Los Angeles where she
planned to attend a two-day conference on wireless
Despite her professional prominence, Karen never
forgot her roots.
“People mattered to Karen,” says Kris, adding how
touched he was that the custodians in her office left a
bouquet of flowers in the entry way. “There were
other bouquets but that one struck me because she
took time to talk and visit. It didn’t matter to Karen if
you are a senator or a custodian.”
Making a daily difference by caring for other peo-
ple has become Karen’s lasting legacy.
“She never forgot who she was,” he says. “It didn’t
matter whether she was in Washington. She was
always a small town Iowa girl, her values never
changed and she always enjoyed coming back to
Kris believes his sister did not call her husband
from the plane even though she had a cell phone
because she wanted to spare her family the trauma of
a painful memory.
“I think about her every day,” he says, “I really
think about what she went through every day. To be
on the plane, the terrorists pushing them in the back of
the plane, that was hard. Her husband told me that she
probably wanted to spare him that final memory.”
Batacan, who met his wife while working as a
lawyer at the FCC, has since left Washington.
“There are too many memories for them in
Washington,” says Kris. “It was hard for him to stay