Beloved antique shop owner dies

Laguna Beach resident Karen Kramer Maroney, one-time owner of the city's Oak Street Antiques, passed away at Mission Hospital Mission Viejo on Feb. 14. She was 73.

Maroney was owner and proprietor of Oak Street Antiques at Oak Street and Coast Highway from 1994 to 2006. The store carried California pottery, antique jewelry, architectural antiques, vintage books and vintage furniture. She provided free advice to customers who wanted to know more about their pottery, her husband Welton Becket wrote in an email.

"She was such a sweet person who thought everyone was nice," Becket said on the phone Wednesday.

Maroney was born to Frederic Jacques and Gertrude Wilson Kramer on April 2, 1939, in Columbus, Ohio.

Becket said he learned about Maroney's father often cooking a 1-pound beef roast to be shared among four children.

"The children joked that they would meet at the refrigerator late at night," to forage for any leftovers, Becket said.

Maroney earned a bachelor's degree in American Literature from Syracuse University in 1961. For a time she directed textbook ordering for the university's bookstore and scheduling all part-time employees. She lived in St. Clair Shores, Mich., Tustin and Orange before moving to Laguna Beach in 1991.

Maroney and Becket met in Laguna Beach in 1992. He worked in an architectural building and Maroney was a florist near the first floor at the time. They were married May 6, 2000.

She loved music, literature and sports, particularly the Cincinnati Reds. She cofounded the public relations firm Kramer, Martin and Hart Coordinators, which promoted the Ella Fitzgerald concert at the Orange County Performing Arts Center. Maroney was communications director of the center's Alla Gitana chapter from 1985 to 1986 and guild chairwoman from 1988 through 1990.

She is survived by Becket and her two children, Lora Taub-Pervizpour and her husband Mesut of Allentown, Penn., and Dr. Marc D. Taub of Dana Point; her twin sister, Ellen Kramer McNeal and her husband Scott of Charleston, S.C.; and her brother, Frederick Kramer and his wife Suzanne of Washington, D.C.

She also leaves grandchildren Leila and Oliver Pervizpour, and Lucas Taub, and seven nephews.

Family and friends gathered at the Surf and Sand Resort last Sunday for a farewell ceremony. Ron Hyrchuck, who married Maroney and Becket, presided over the service. Thirty surfers paddled out 300 yards on the Pacific Ocean for a tribute that included Maroney's son, Marc, spreading her ashes. Lucas, her grandson, pushed a wreath out to sea.

Contributions in Maroney's name may be made to the following three organizations: Surfrider Foundation, P.O. Box 6010, San Clemente, 92674, (949) 492-8170; or to Doctors Without Borders, 333 Seventh Ave., New York, N.Y. 10001, (212-679-6800); and Heifer International at

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