Cover photo for Karen Charnes's Obituary
Karen Charnes Profile Photo
1968 Karen 2022

Karen Charnes

June 23, 1968 — July 28, 2022

It is with deep sadness we announce that Karen Charnes passed away on July 28, with her boys, Jordan and Nolan by her side in Bismarck, North Dakota.

A Celebration of Life will be held from 5 to 8:00 p.m., September 30, 2022 at Octapas in Olympia, Washington.

Karen was born in Michigan in 1968, then moved to California before finally settling in Olympia, Washington where she spent many memorable years living, raising her sons and building a strong community of friends and family who loved her very much. Ultimately, she moved to North Dakota following a difficult diagnosis and with the intention of spending as much quality time as possible with her sons.

Karen will always be warmly remembered for her kindness and for being an exceptionally hard worker. She was fiercely independent and always put her family first. In 2012, she achieved a lifelong dream of completing her Bachelors of Science in Business Managementwhile working full time and still being an extraordinary mom. She utilized her degree while working for the Olympia School District, where she connected with her coworkers, many of them becoming close friends over the years. 

She loved a well-planned adventure; in particular, she enjoyed traveling with her sons. Whether it was a 3-week trip to Mexico or a family road trip, if Karen was in charge, it would be very extensively researched so that everyone would have the absolute best time. This love of planning lent itself well to strategic board games, often playing several rounds of games together after family dinners.

Karen will be deeply missed by her family.

She is survived by her sons, Jordan (Kelsey) and Nolan (Pearl); brother, Steve (Sherri) Charnes; nieces, Steph (Toby) Sanovia and Elle Troutman; nephew, Tyler Troutman; best friend & soul sister, Julie (Russ) Wunderlich; sister-in-law, Traci (Brad) Orr, and many more loved ones.


To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Karen Charnes, please visit our flower store.


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