Karen Agura died peacefully on July 13, 2021, at home in Arlington, Texas.

Article Image Alt Text


Karen Agura

Karen Agura died peacefully on July 13, 2021, at home in Arlington, Texas. 

Karen was born April 6, 1925, in Sofia, Bulgaria, daughter of  Xenia Tontcheva Haller and Jakob Kurt Haller. Her parents had moved to Bulgaria in 1921, to escape the difficult inflationary conditions in Germany during the early 1920’s and to establish a business. The family returned to Germany in 1928 and settled in Stuttgart, Germany. Karen received all her education there and graduated from Königin Katharina Stift in 1941. She entered trade school, a mandatory requirement to enter the Fashion Academy in Munich. She planned to specialize in business and dress and pattern making and received her Master Letter.  Unfortunately, because of World War II she never fulfilled her dream of attending the Academy. Circumstances forced her to earn a living and support her family. She opened her own studio, specializing in ladies custom clothing. In 1948 she accepted an invitation from the Dutch Chamber of Commerce to design a collection of ladies loungewear, happily leaving war-torn Germany to move to Arnheim, Holland. While there, she received a second contract with "De Wolkam" to design ladies two-piece suits and moved to Utrecht to fulfill this assignment. Meanwhile, her long time friend and future husband, James, was finishing his Architectural studies in Stuttgart. He intended to immigrate to the US after receiving his degree, but the Communist occupation of his homeland delayed the move until 1950. Karen followed him from Utrecht to New York City one year later. While settling in New York, she worked with several ladies sportswear companies as a designer and pattern maker, learned English, and adapted to the American way of life, ultimately becoming a citizen of the United States.  She joined Jantzen as designer and patternmaker in their ladies sportswear division. She eventually established her own design consulting studio, and began developing complete clothing collections for several golf and sportswear manufacturers. 

Karen and Jim designed and built a house near Lexington and retired here in 1985. They were active volunteers in Lexington. Karen served as a Hospice patient volunteer from 1986 to 2010. She also served on committees of the Lexington Woman’s Club, and volunteered in the retail store of Habitat for Humanity for more than two decades.

Her husband James preceded her in death in July 2001.

She is survived by her son, Dr. Edward Agura and his wife Anne, of Arlington, Texas, her daughter, Vivian Agura and husband John Thompson of Wilton, Conn. Karen had five grandchildren: Kristen, Ashley, Josselyn, Devon and Oliver.

The family requests that memorial contributions be made to Rockbridge Area Hospice, Lexington.

The News-Gazette

The News-Gazette Corp.
P.O. Box 1153
Lexington, VA 24450
(540) 463-3113

Email Us

Facebook Twitter