Karen Rae Nelson passed away peacefully while under hospice care on August 12th following a long battle with cancer. She was a kind and loving person, a devoted mother and grandmother and a loyal friend.
Karen was born and raised in Coos Bay, Oregon, where she attended Marshfield High School before graduating from Oregon State University with a degree in education. She started her teaching career as an elementary school and physical education teacher. After moving to the Bay Area, Karen was employed by the Mount Diablo School District, where she worked with special needs children and their parents for 25 years. After she retired, she continued to work as a substitute teacher. She was a dedicated and compassionate teacher who had a special gift for connecting with her students.
Karen loved dogs and other animals; she doted on the dogs that she owned. She enjoyed tennis and hiking, going to concerts, plays and comedy shows, watching programs about nature and the Alaskan wilderness on television and the trips she took in recent years to Hawaii, Alaska and South Dakota. Most of all, she liked to spend time with her daughters and their husbands, her grandchildren and her many friends. She will be missed and fondly remembered by all who knew her.
Karen was preceded in death by her parents Raymond and Hazel Douglas. She is survived by Scott Noble, her partner of 30 years, her daughters Mari Nelson Senediak (Dan), Lyndee Hairston (Tim) her grandchildren Ella, Sophia and Cubby Hairston and her dog KayKey.
She is also survived by her sisters Judy Smith (Dick), Petra Dore and Lou Ann McKenzie.
The family requests that, in lieu of flowers, a donation be made in her name to ARF (Animal Rescue Foundation), 2890 Mitchell Dr., Walnut Creek, CA 94598.