In Loving Memory ~
On August 23, 2023, Karen May Johanson passed away peacefully at home, her life cut short by the return of breast cancer she had battled 30 years earlier.
A loving mother, devoted friend, inspiring educator, and passionate adventurer, "Fishing Grandma's" life was a tapestry of love, laughter, and curiosity with a generous amount of fun and mischief blended in.
She is survived by daughter Lori Bowie (Lorne West), son Jamie Bowie (Marilyn Bowie), common law husband, Barrie Seed, grandchildren Stephanie, Aidan, TJ and Liam, and brother Andy Johanson (Trish Johanson).
Karen was born in Summerland and grew up on an orchard. When she was 15, the Johanson family moved to a small farm on Powerhouse Road in Armstrong. She shared memories of her summers spent with relatives at the ranch in Merritt, riding the range and monitoring the herd of cattle roaming the hills.
Karen completed her Bachelors Degree at SFU and began her high school teaching career in Clearwater, before returning to university to complete her Masters Degree at UBC. She went on to teach in Quesnel, Sicamous, Enderby and Salmon Arm. She was a lifelong learner who deeply valued education. Her influence extended beyond the classroom.
She instilled a love for learning and a thirst for knowledge in her students, family and friends.
Karen spent endless hours reading with her grandchildren, volunteering in niece Heather's primary school classes, taking university courses online in recent years, and sharing laughs and wine, along with the occasional intellectual discussion, with her cherished book club friends.
Karen's heart was filled with compassion not only for people but also for animals. Her home was a sanctuary for her furry friends, each one finding comfort in her tender care. She befriended many transient cats, loved to watch the new calves playing together every spring and enjoyed photographing wildlife she'd encounter, particularly while travelling in the Yukon.
An accomplished athlete, Karen was awarded high school athlete of the year and continued to pursue a variety of team and individual sports throughout her lifetime, inspiring those around her to be active.
Karen loved to travel and embarked on journeys around the world, exploring castles and seeking out waterfalls, collecting stories and experiences that enriched her life and the lives of those she shared them with. Her passion for fishing was infectious, talking many unsuspecting friends into hours of paddling the canoe around small local lakes, and arranging sea fishing trips, a highlight of many travel stories.
Let us remember her with smiles and love, cherishing her unwavering support and guidance, her comforting presence, the adventures and the laughter we shared, and the legacy she left behind.
In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to animal rescue or cancer research in her honour.
A celebration of life will be held at 3:00 PM on September 30, 2023, at Vintage Chic 3245 Powerhouse Road, Armstrong BC.