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Karen Larson Hawkins
November 16, 1938 ~ December 20, 2023 (age 85) 85 Years Old
On Wednesday, December 20, 2023, Karen Larson Hawkins passed away peacefully at her home in Sequim, Washington. She was 85 years old.
Karen was born in Phoenix, Arizona on November 16, 1938 to Elliott Gustav Larson and Clara Bradshaw Larson, the second of 8 children. She was raised with her siblings in a small house on Willetta Street and had happy memories of her childhood, playing with friends in a time before television. She attended and graduated from Creighton Elementary and Phoenix Union High School before moving to San Diego with her good friend, Virginia Ashton, to look for work. It was there that she met her husband, Darrell Barnes Hawkins, when he came home from his university studies. They fell in love on their first date, and on September 27, 1958, they were sealed for time and eternity in the Mesa, Arizona Temple of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
After their marriage, Karen and Darrell relocated to Phoenix where Karen became a full-time mother while her husband ultimately found work as a carpenter and cabinetmaker. She gave birth to six children and took great pride in raising her children; keeping a clean, organized house; and serving in her church and community. She was firm in her love for others, and she approached problems with common sense, creativity, and humor. During the early years of her marriage, to help make ends meet, she ran a cottage business manufacturing decoupage. She helped remodel their home, including painting rooms and upholstering furniture. And the only work she ever allowed herself on Sunday was clipping coupons for the week and planning the shopping. She never paid full price for anything.
Karen always bore firm testimony of the truth of the Restored Gospel of Jesus Christ, and much of her life was dedicated to serving God and His children in the church. She taught children’s classes (Primary), was a Cub Scout den mother, ministered to members of her ward at church, and served in several callings in the church’s organization for women (Relief Society). She took special pride in the years she presided over the 7th Ward Relief Society and later the Camelback Ward Relief Society, where she worked with a great team of friends. She was stretched as she presided over the Young Women's organization when she was in her 60s. Later in life, she found great joy in serving weekly with her husband in the Seattle, Washington Temple of the Church.
Karen loved being around her extended family in Phoenix, but when Darrell retired from his carpentry business in 2002, they happily moved to Sequim, Washington, a city on the beautiful Olympic Peninsula that offered cooler weather and a more rural lifestyle. Karen loved making new friends and setting up house on an acre of land where she welcomed visits from children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren, not to mention siblings and friends. She was especially grateful that her daughter, Janell, lived only a mile away. She delighted in reading, finding bargains at yard sales, and tending her flowers, while keeping up on the news about old friends from Arizona.
In Karen’s final years, a series of strokes took their toll on her health. However, she always expressed gratitude to her family and friends and told them how much she loved them.
Karen was preceded in death by her parents, as well as her sister, Lorraine. She is survived by her husband, Darrell; her children, Shauna (Don) Saunders, Lamar (Emily) Hawkins, Miriam (Jeff) Dobrolecki, Kirk (Eliza) Hawkins, Janell (Jim) Heintz, and Jason (Mandie) Hawkins; and her siblings, Susan (David) Hawkins, Wayne (Linda) Larson, Merrilee (Jim) Richardson, Neil (Pamela) Larson, Randy (Marsha) Larson, and Lisa (Scott) Lindsay. She has 32 grandchildren and 34 great-grandchildren.
A memorial service will be held on January 4, 2024, 11 am at the Sequim meetinghouse of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 815 W. Washington Street, with visitation at 10am.
The Hawkins family gives special thanks to Karen’s caregivers, Tracey Young and Anna Davis, as well as Assured Hospice and Olympic Medical Home Health, who helped so much in her final months.