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Obituary: Karen Correia Radley, 64

By Susan Larson

Karen Correia Radley, 64, died at her home in King George County on Sunday, April 5, 2015, after a 15-year battle with cancer.

Karen was born on May 24, 1950, in Los Banos, Calif., to Frank and Phyllis Correia. She is survived by her husband, Vincent Phillip Barry Radley, and her brother Gary Correia. She was preceded in death by her son, Cory Neville Radley.

Karen and her husband opened a Chevrolet dealership on U.S. 1 in Fredericksburg in 1979. She opened her own Acura dealership in Woodbridge in 1989, the beginning of her Radley Automotive Group.
Today, Radley Automotive Group owns Radley Cadillac and Radley Chevrolet, both in Fredericksburg; Karen Radley Acura and Karen Radley Volkswagen, both in Woodbridge; and Radley Acura in Falls Church.

Radley was a trailblazer for women. Radley Automotive Group is the largest woman-managed new-car dealership in the Virginia. Radley was the first woman on the Virginia Automobile Dealers Association (VADA) board, a position she held for 18 years, and the first woman on the state Motor Vehicle Dealer Board. She received “Time” magazine’s Quality Dealer Award in 1998, the first woman dealer operator to be so honored.

Radley loved horses, and spent many hours riding at Hazelwild Farm in Fredericksburg. Staff posted this tribute to Karen on the Hazelwild Farm Facebook page.

“Rest in peace to one of the strongest and greatest women that we have ever known. You will live on forever in our hearts. Always know that you are loved more than you ever knew, Karen C. Radley.”

Karen’s life was one of boundless intellectual curiosity, tireless work and quiet generosity. A reserved determination marked her approach to labor and life. Working as an auto dealer, sitting on numerous boards and privately engaging in charitable works, Karen undertook her endeavors with a focused expectation of achievement. Having visited more than 100 countries, Karen captured their culture and beauty with an expert photographic hand and rich storytelling.

“Ever the consummate host, she sought to ensure her guests were provided with delicious food and drink in the most pleasant setting, always aware of others’ needs first. Karen kept close any personal travails, approaching them with rare dignity and fortitude, ensuring her desire that others need not be burdened. Her house became the temporary and oftentimes permanent home to distressed animals and to the horses, her “Big Boys,” that she loved greatly.”

A private ceremony was held, In accordance with Karen’s wishes. She also requested that in lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to the Hazelwild Therapy Riding Program, Hazelwild Farm, 5325 Harrison Rd., Fredericksburg, Va. 22407.”

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