Karen Loree Kaska died peacefully January 8, 2020 in Bellevue, WA at age 78, surrounded by her family. Karen lived in Kirkland, WA for more than 43 years and in Enumclaw for 10 years.
Karen was born February 26, 1941 to Marvin and Mattie Lucille Long, on a farm in Ramona, Kansas. When Karen was two years old, the family moved to Denver, Colorado, where Karen discovered books and became an avid reader. She graduated from South High School, and after two years’ training she worked in the nursing field in Denver. She met Jim Kaska at a dance in 1961; they married six months later on February 3, 1962.
Jim and Karen moved to Kirkland, where Karen gave birth to their six children, who were Karen's greatest pride and joy. In addition to homemaking and raising her children, Karen worked for the State of Washington, first as a toll collector in 1974 on the original SR 520/Evergreen Point Floating Bridge. In 1977 she began working for the Department of Licensing where years later she proudly retired as the District Manager. She also spent time volunteering for the City of Bellevue as a probation counselor.
In 1994 she and Jim purchased a beach house in Discovery Bay near Sequim. Karen cherished the time there with family and enjoyed crabbing, fishing, playing games, laughing, and storytelling. She always enjoyed telling the story of her husband Jim, building a boat in the living room of their first apartment. His boat is still at the family beach house today.
Some of Karen’s favorite things to do were singing, playing the piano, cooking and baking, taking road trips in the family camper, and watching college basketball. She couldn’t wait to watch March Madness every Spring! Her children and grandchildren were the light of her life. She loved babies and enjoyed making blankets and hats for them. She utilized her amazing sewing, knitting, crocheting, embroidery and quilting skills to create blankets and more for all of her loved ones. The holidays were a happy time in the Kaska household, especially Christmas, filled with music, baking cookies, and decorating. Also memorable to the Kaska family, are the many Mondays when Karen baked her delicious cinnamon rolls and many loaves of bread.
Karen was thoughtful, kind, and generous, with a delightful laugh and a smile that lit up a room. Her Catholic faith was a source of great strength throughout her life. She will be profoundly missed.
Karen is survived by five children, Rebecca (Roger Graham) Kaska; Andrew (Vida) Kaska; Mark Kaska; Jennifer (Cory) Bone; and Kevin Kaska; and seven grandchildren, Taylor Kaska-Kohanek; Shane Kaska; Matthew Reed; Rael Kaska; Nolan Bone; Harley Bone and Tyzo Kaska. Karen was preceded in death by her husband of 49 years, Jim Kaska; her son Christopher Kaska; her parents Marvin and Mattie Lucille Long; and her sister Donna Gene “Jeannie” Pool.
Funeral mass is scheduled for 12 pm Monday, February 3, 2020 at Holy Family Catholic Church, 7045 120th Ave. NE, Kirkland, WA 98033. Father Kurt Nagel will officiate. Karen will be placed next to her husband Jim and son Christopher at Evergreen Memorial Park in Enumclaw, WA.
Remembrances may be made to the Make-A-Wish foundation, 811 1st Ave. Suite 620, Seattle, WA 98104
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