In Las Vegas on June 17, 1973 Karen Steele married Dr. Maurice Boyd Ruland, a psychiatrist at the Mohave Mental Health Clinic. They settled in Golden Valley, Arizona, and remained married until her death on March 12, 1988.
Karen Steele,: (about why she didn't participate in the Hollywood party scene) I'm a little like Katherine Hepburn. I guess I'll probably be a bachelor girl all my life. I want to live the way I like. A lot of people in this town just don't understand me. They think I'm putting them on. They don't believe me when I tell them I'd rather spend 17 hours talking to General Westmoreland than exchanging amenities at some Hollywood party.