J. Karen Atkin, age 85, passed away peacefully surrounded by family on January 26, 2023 after a long illness. She was born March 14, 1937 in Grand Forks, British Columbia to Edna and Knud Honholt. She met her husband, Albert Atkin, on a blind date while in nursing school at Vancouver General Hospital and Albert was in Engineering at UBC. They married on September 20, 1958 in the Honholt family home. Albert preceded her in death on August 22, 2007.
Karen had a creative spirit, a strong sense of responsibility, a desire for knowledge and wisdom, and through it all a high standard of excellence.
Karen had a talent for creating beauty, whether it was her gardens, home or quilts (for family but also for charity). Nature was a source of inspiration and joy, such as wildflowers, “diamonds on the lake” and wildlife visitors.
Karen was devoted to her family and friends, groups she belonged to such as the Bruce Lake Family Association and quilting guilds (in which she held leadership roles), and the greater good. The environment was a particular passion; she recycled and composted long before it was common. Her life was a living example of her philosophy — “Love is God.”
Karen loved to learn and think. Reading was a favourite way to explore new ideas and experiences, and provided a captivating pastime throughout her illness.
In everything she did, Karen was recognized for excellence: high school valedictorian, top of her class in nursing school; renowned for her quilting skills; and appreciated for how she cared for family, friends, home and gardens. She set a high bar and inspired us all to do our best.
Karen is survived by her daughter Audrey (Jim Williams), sons David (Sandy) and Michael, and daughter Leslie (Bruce) Varsava; grandchildren Jamie, Alexander (Sarah), Cassie (Austin), Andrew, Madeline, Emily, Jonathan and Matthew; and great grandchildren Louise and Lincoln, all of whom she loved and touched deeply. Karen is survived by her sister Janice Mulder and brother Rod Honholt of British Columbia, as well as several nieces and nephews. She was predeceased by her sister Fran Honholt, brothers-in-law Bill Mulder and Noel Atkin, and sister-in-law Pat Atkin.
Following Karen’s wishes, cremation has taken place. The family is holding a private celebration of her life. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to South Muskoka Hospital Foundation ( https://www.healthmuskoka.ca ), Andy’s House ( https://www.canadahelps.org/en/charities/hospice-muskoka ), and The Salvation Army ( https://salvationarmy.ca ) in Karen’s memory.