Karen L. Carter, 80, a resident of the Richmond, California community, died Saturday evening, January 17, 2015 at the Alta Bates Medical Center in Berkeley, California.
Karen Louise Carter, the daughter of late Margaret I. Lisdas and Wilber C. Hayden M.D, was born on September 19, 1934 in Crescent City, CA. As a young girl she moved with her family to Sandpoint ID, where she attended grade school and Sandpoint High School until 1950 when she moved with her mother and brother to Seattle WA, where she attended and graduated summa cum laude from Roosevelt High School in 1952. After graduation she attended Mills College in Oakland CA, the University of Washington in Seattle WA, and graduated from the University of Idaho in Moscow, ID in 1959.
Karen was married to Hubert Carter on August 20, 1970 in Reno NV. Following their marriage, they moved to Anchorage Alaska, where they bought their first house together. They spent their free time in the outdoors, hunting and fishing with their 6 dogs. Their first child, Angela, was born in 1973. Soon after they moved to Hillsboro OR, where their son, Brian Carter, was born. Karen worked for over 30 years as a laboratory and x-ray technician in clinics and hospitals in Bonners Ferry ID, Spokane WA and Portland OR. She retired early to take care of her mother during the last years of her mother's life. After her mother's passing, Karen moved to the midwest and then to the south, to reside close to her chosen sister, Pat Bush. Karen spent the last two years of her life residing in the San Francisco Bay area with her son and daughter.
Karen lived a fun, adventurous life. She loved road trips and spent one summer driving around the entire United States with a friend. She enjoyed snow skiing, water skiing, scuba diving and skydiving. In the mid-1950s, Karen played semi-professional women's softball as a right fielder. She also participated as a navigator in sports car rallies. Her love of cars extended to her own, her favorites being her VWs and her Karmann Ghia. In those days, she didn't get behind the wheel without her driving gloves! Karen was an avid Seattle Seahawks fan, never missing a game and attending several in person. She spent her retirement playing bingo and cards, bird watching and spending time with her family and friends. She had a special appreciation for classical music and listened to composers such as Beethoven, Tchaikovsky and Bach.
She read voraciously, and was inquisitive and forever joyful at learning new things or discovering new authors. She possessed an impressive intellect and memory, and could, and often would, discuss wide ranging subjects with you in detail, from physics and chemistry, literature to classic sports cars, current events, animal welfare, or strategy in chess. She was the kind of storyteller that enthralled and entertained whomever was in the room, leaving everyone smiling at her passion for the story, and young children amazed. She had the ability to make whomever she was in conversation with feel like they were the most important person in the room. Karen was best known for her zest for life and her kind heart. She never turned away those in need and always had a big hug for everyone.
Karen is survived by her son, Brian Carter; her daughter, Angela Carter; her "sister woman" Claire Lewis and her husband, Leon Lewis, of Sandpoint ID; her brother Michael Rainey and his wife, Nan Cluss, of Hansen ID; her sister Tia Sarsozo of Sarasota FL; her brother Roger Hayden of Des Moines WA; her nephews Makario Sarsozo and his partner, Kirk McDonald, of New York NY; Peter Hayden and his wife, Annette Hayden, of Renton WA and his two children, and his 6 grandchildren; Randy Hayden and his wife, Cathy Hayden, of Edmonds WA and his two children, and his 4 grandchildren; Jay Lewis of Sandpoint ID and his son and granddaughter; her nieces Jessica Butler of Hansen ID and her three children; Susie Lewis and her husband, Steve Klatt, of Sandpoint ID and her daughter; and Leisa Boris and her husband, Don Boris, of Sandpoint ID and her two children and granddaughter.
Karen was preceded in death by her father Wilber C. Hayden M.D., her stepmother Nita Hayden, her mother Margaret Lisdas, her stepfather George Lisdas, her sister-in-law Donna Hayden, and step sister Robin Gamble.