H.W. Wallace Cremation & Burial Centre

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Karen Stefanson

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Karen Marie Stefanson

September 25, 1971 - March 4, 2023


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 4th, 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 and Bill, her brothers, Ken and Rob, sister-in-law Amber, and especially by her nieces & nephews Brittany, (grandnephew’s Mason & Brooks) Mia, Emmett & Olive, with whom she had very special relationships. She also is survived by several dear cousins.

Karen was predeceased by her maternal grandparents, Marnie & Papa Sharp; her fraternal grandparents, Amma & Afi Stefanson, and several aunts, uncles, & cousins.

Karen was born on September 25, 1971, and became our special daughter on Darlene’s birthday, October 8, 1971.  Darlene has always said that Karen was the best birthday gift ever.

At 17, Karen went looking for adventure – spending a year in Chile as a Rotary Exchange Student where she learned to speak fluent Spanish. Soon after, Karen achieved a degree in Tourism Administration and worked in event planning, conference management and hospitality.  Her career took her to Victoria, Vancouver and 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 – ‘I Had Cancer’.

Karen enjoyed swimming and she had certified as a lifeguard & swimming instructor in her late teens and taught at both local pools in Duncan and in Vancouver. She loved reading, knitting, skiing, snow boarding, biking, hiking, kayaking, camping, and traveling; but most of all, spending time with her nieces & nephew.

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 with grace, stamina, determination, independence, and dignity.

The family wishes to thank all those involved in Karen’s excellent nursing care at Cowichan Hospice House, & the wonderful Hospice Volunteers.  Thank you to the Palliative Care Team, especially Dr. Masuda, & Sophia, along with Dr. Szabo.  We also 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 and loving support.  To our family’s many friends & relatives, a special thank you for your caring loving support, messages, food, flowers and prayers.  Our family would also like to say a special thank you to Cathy Coulter & the Stott Family, for all your love, support and prayers.

There will be a Reception Celebration of Life for Karen at 2pm on March 25th 2023, at H.W. Wallace Cremation and Burial, 5285 Polkey Road, Duncan B.C, V9L 6W3

In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made in memory of Karen to the Cowichan Valley Hospice at 3122 Gibbins Road, Duncan, BC, V9L 1G2 or online at www.cowichanhospice.org



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From: H.W. Wallace Cremation & Burial Centre

H.W. Wallace Cremation & Burial Centre staff send our condolences to family and friends.

From: Noreen Sitko
Relation: We went to school together

I am so sorry to hear of Karen’s passing, I didn’t even know she had been ill. Thinking of her family, I am so sorry

From: Renee and Cory Bilodeau
Relation: Friend

I met Karen many years ago through a friend and she became a great part of our circle and we enjoyed many fun events and laughs together. She is a special person and I feel lucky to have known her. Sending love and hugs

From: John and Brenda Krug

We knew Karen many years ago at Queen of Angels School. She was a kind, cheerful and lively girl, who became a lovely woman and will be dearly missed. Our condolences to the family.

From: Dedie Tyson(Yano)
Relation: Former neighbors

I am so sorry to hear of the passing of Karen. She fought a long battle with such courage and strength. My thoughts and sympathy go to your family.

From: Judy Carter
Relation: High school students together.

I am sorry to read of Karen’s passing. We went Cowichan High School together. My sincere condolences on your loss of Karen.

From: Sherry Norie
Relation: i worked with her at the Duncan Aquannis Pool

I am so sad to hear of Karen’s passing… I enjoyed working with her at the old Duncan Aquannis Pool. Later on after she left the pool, i would see her on occasions around the community. She was always so cheerful. I will miss seeing her around…. RIP Karen….

From: Elisabeth Boylan
Relation: Friend

I am sorry to hear of Karen’s passing. I knew her in Whistler. She was genuine and beautifully kind.

Service Schedule

  Celebration of Life

Date & Time:
March 25, 2023
Beginning at 2:00pm

H.W. Wallace Cremation & Burial Centre
2853 Roberts Road,
Duncan,, BC V9L 6W3

2853 Roberts Road,
Duncan,, BC V9L 6W3

Memorial Gifts

The family has not designated a preferred charity at this time.

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