September 25, 1971 – March 4, 2023
In loving memory ~
It is with great sadness that we announce the loss of our dear & beautiful daughter, sister and auntie, Karen Marie Stefanson. Karen passed away at Cowichan Hospice House on Saturday, March 4, 2023 with family by her side.
Karen brought so much joy to our family with her bubbly personality and sense of humour. She will be greatly missed by all: her parents, Darlene & Bill; brothers Ken & Rob; sister-in-law Amber; and especially her nieces & nephews, Brittany (Mason & Brooks), and Mia, Emmett, & Olive, with whom she had a very special relationship. She also is survived by several dear cousins.
Karen was predeceased by her maternal grandparents, Marnie & Papa Sharp, & her fraternal grandparents, Amma & Afi Stefanson, as well as several aunts, uncles & cousins.
Karen was born on September 25, 1971. She became our special daughter on Darlene’s 29th birthday, October 8, 1971. Darlene always said Karen was the best birthday gift ever.
Karen graduated from Cowichan High School. At 17, Karen went looking for adventure, spending a year in Chili as a Rotary Exchange Student where she learned to speak fluent Spanish. Soon after, Karen achieved her degree in Tourism Administration & worked in event planning, conference management & hospitality. Her career took her to Victoria, Vancouver & her favourite happy place, Whistler, where she lived for many years. A highlight of her professional career was working for the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver in the women’s Hockey Team venue at UBC. Beyond tourism, Karen attained certification as a Meditation instructor, sharing her gifts through teaching at local colleges, large events, such as ‘Wanderlust’, and finally, for an online support community for people affected by cancer out of New York, called ‘I Had Cancer’.
Karen enjoyed swimming, and she was certified as a lifeguard & swimming instructor in her late teens & taught at both local pools in Duncan & Vancouver. Karen enjoyed reading, skiing, snowboarding, biking, hiking, kayaking, camping, knitting, & travelling; but most of all spending time with her nieces & nephews.
After the diagnosis of her brain tumour in 2013, Karen showed us all what it means to have real courage when faced with surgery, radiation & chemotherapy. She lived her life not only with courage, but grace, stamina, determination, independence, & dignity.
The family wishes to thank all those involved in Karen’s excellent nursing care at the Cowichan Hospice House & the wonderful Hospice Volunteers. Thank you to the Palliative Home Care Team, especially Dr. Masuda, & Sophia, along with Dr. Szabo. We want to thank the Palliative Home Care Nurses and the many Palliative Home Support folks who came to assist Karen at home.
Darlene wishes to thank her many friends at Duncan United Church for all your thoughts & prayers & loving support. To our family’s many friends & relatives, a special thank you for your caring loving support, messages, food, flowers, & prayers. Our family would also like to say a special thank you to Cathy Coulter & the Stott Family, for all your love & support & prayers.
There will be a reception Celebration of Life for Karen at 2:00 p.m. on Saturday, March 25, 2023 at Harold Wallace Funeral Center, 5285 Polkey Road, Duncan, B.C.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made to Cowichan Valley Hospice in memory of Karen, at 3122 Gibbins Road, Duncan, B.C., V9L 1G2 or online at cowichanhospice.org
Online condolences may be made at www.hwwallacecbc.com.
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