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Born: Feb 20, 1943

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(nee MILLER)

The family is saddened to announce the passing of Karen Ann. The loving wife of 52 years to David; her best friend - her world. An amazing mother to Margaret Ann (Steve) and Caroline Dawn (Kevin). A doting grandmother to Shelby, Shenille, Chelsea, Taylor, Blayne, Grayden, Kylee, Callen and Brooklyn and extending her love and grandmotherly duties wholeheartedly to their partners. And of course a loving great-grandma to many furbabies. A big sister to Mary Jane McLean (Roger) whom she loved so dearly and looked forward to their phone calls, gossip sessions and visits. Her cousins, Sally and Jimmy who were (to mom) a second sister and brother to her. Karen was aunty to Shannon (Kevin), Sheri and Molly and great-aunty to Tate, Sully, Becca and Alexa, all of whom she loved to visit with whenever they could make the long trek up from Colorado.
Karen was born February 20, 1943 to Margaret and Clayton Miller. She grew up in River Heights in Winnipeg, Manitoba. Karen's summers were spent on her family's Island in Keewatin, Ontario, where she and her sister Mary Jane would regularly get into mischief. Just one example of their shenanigans was a time the girls felt they needed to prove to their father that his self proclaimed UNSINKABLE boat could sink. Being as determined as they were, the two girls spent the evening filling the boat with water - it was in fact sinkable!
Years later, David's friend Ernie wanted to go on a date with a special girl. The only way she would go out with him was if her friend could tag along; that friend was Karen. This meant Ernie needed a buddy to do him a favour; that friend was Dave - and the rest is history.
David met Karen and was instantly head over heels. But what sealed the deal was when he met Margaret Ann. Mom had previously been married and had recently become a widow. The three became an instant family and a year later, mom and dad married on May 10, 1969. The three of them built their first home in North Kildonan and welcomed Caroline Dawn in February of 1971 and their family was complete.
In 1975, the move was made to St. Francois Xavier, where the family enjoyed 19 years and several everlasting friendships. Because of her funny, loving and caring personality, not only was Karen a supermom to Margaret Ann and Caroline, she also played the role of second mom to each and every one of their friends.
Karen was part of the Women's Auxiliary, volunteered in the canteen and did bartending for the curling bonspiels, and oh, the SFX Fireman's picnics! Where it became a tradition that at some point during the day, while all of the children at the picnic waited with bated breath, Karen would eventually "trip" and fall into the pool, fully clothed, a cigarette in one hand and a drink in the other. One more memory for us was Karen and her girlfriends (aka the Ukranian Shamata Sisters) traipsing around town at Christmas time dressed in their long dresses, boots and babushkas; decorating trees with hanging kielbasa, perogies and cooked pasta noodles - we're still not sure if alcohol was involved.
Since 1974, Karen and the girls would spend the entire summer holidays at the cottage in Grand Marais while Dave would work during the week and come out on the weekends. Many great long lasting friendships were created with the Grand Marais crew. Mom loved entertaining her St. Francois friends at the cottage during the summer months and winter time as well.
In 1994 after four years of retirement, Dave and Karen packed up and moved to Lac du Bonnet. Karen was very proud of her home on the Winnipeg river. She and Dave enjoyed entertaining their St. Francois friends and she especially loved her girls only weekends.
Mom and dad soon made many friends in Lac Du Bonnet. Dave joined the Lions Club, Curling Club and Legion based on the strict understanding that Karen was now retired from any volunteer work. After an extremely short retirement, Karen was volunteering at all the Lions picnics and cooking turkeys for the seniors Christmas Dinners.
At this time, Karen and Dave were grandparents to two beauties and soon to be three. Grandchildren were now her priority. Mom wanted to see her grandbabies as much as possible. Margaret Ann and Caroline brought their families out almost every weekend, long weekend and holiday. Picnics, dress up days, and crafts were now grandma's thing. Within only a couple years of driving out to see grandma and grandpa, Caroline decided to just sell the house and move to Lac du Bonnet. Two years later, Margaret Ann would follow.
Finally!!! The girls had their free babysitter and personal grocery store back!
Mom always said that if she and dad ever moved again she wouldn't tell us where they were going ! But in all honesty, having her family close made her happier than anything. By this time, Karen and Dave had three grandbabies which very quickly jumped to five then seven, then nine! Karen was so very proud of all her grandchildren.
Whether it was a place setting for four or 15 , mom took great pride and pleasure in hosting the most exquisite family dinners and special occasions which began with drinks, snacks that naturally included mom's famous crab meat dip. People would actually arrive early just to get first seat by the dip.
In 2009, Karen and Dave sold their house on Centennial Place and made their final move to the condos on the river in town. As our families grew, mom's huge meals were difficult to host in a smaller place but she made sure that every July 1st celebration she put out a huge spread with drinks, snacks, and of course crab meat dip. Not only for family but extended family, friends and her grandchildrens friends. The door was open to anyone and everyone.
Karen always said "Dave! Even if we win the lotto we will never move out of the condo - it's my favourite spot."
Mom, there are no right words to say goodbye. Moving on without you, our mother, wife, grandma, sister and friend is harder than we could have ever imagined. We smile when your name is mentioned, We love you with all of our hearts but they hurt so much when we think of you not being around. We are all so very grateful to have been a part of your life.
A special thanks go out to Dr. Bruneau, Crystal and Tricia at the Lac du Bonnet Clinic and to the staff at the Pinawa for their incredible care and compassion.

As published in Winnipeg Free Press on Nov 21, 2020

Condolences & Memories (2 entries)

  • I will always remember the great times with Karen and Dave at THE RANCH. Always good times, always good people. Everyone who came through their door was made to feel welcomed. will miss you very much Karen. Love Darren - Posted by: Darren Glowatski (friend) on: Nov 28, 2020

  • I will always remember Aunt Karen's laughter and hors d'oeuvres! I always enjoyed hearing my mom and her stories of their crazy adventures. I loved coming to Canada to see the whole family! I appreciate being a witness to the real-life love story of Aunt Karen and Uncle Dave! Talk about unconditional love! Aunt Karen will be missed and remembered fondly. Love Shannon - Posted by: Shannon Minch (Niece) on: Nov 21, 2020

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