Kari Passed away peacefully on March 26th after a yearlong battle with cancer. She was surrounded by so much love throughout her illness and in her final days. Born in Tacoma and lived all her childhood in Fircrest where she resided the past 12 years. She was preceded in death by her parents Alvin and Arline (Becky) Johnson of Fircrest, WA and is survived by her partner and friend of nearly 40 years, Luz Escobar; sister Sonya (Jim) Purkey of Tacoma, WA; niece Lauren (Brian) Ehlert of Graham, WA and nephew Jeff (Alyssum) Purkey of Sequim, WA; Great nieces and nephews: Jack, Dylan, Katelyn, Henrik and Anja. Luz’s children: Erika (Justin) Morgan and their son Quintin of Camas, WA and Alex (Jessica) Escobar of Detroit, MI.
Kari graduated from Wilson High School in 1971 and went on to obtain LPN and RN nursing degrees. She worked at Tacoma General Hospital as an LPN for many years then went on to get her RN degree and worked mostly in mental health, most recently at Western State Hospital. She also worked as a travel nurse which took her to Florida, Arizona and Oregon. She had great compassion for her patients and others who were in need, which made her an excellent nurse.
Kari loved life, loved to laugh and make others laugh. She loved her family and friends, her dogs and travel which took her on several trips to Europe and Mexico. She was very proud of her Scandinavian heritage and was able to travel to Norway where she visited the towns where her grandparents were from. She loved the outdoors, mowing lawns and football. She enjoyed scuba diving and deep-sea fishing and even caught a marlin and a mahi-mahi. Kari was always trying to find jobs for people, even if they weren’t looking for or wanting one. I’m sure God’s got a special job for her in heaven.
A huge thank you to her team of doctors and nurses at MultiCare and Luz who took such wonderful and loving care of Kari throughout her illness. She really felt God’s presence and was so grateful for the outpouring of love she received from so many people. She felt so blessed!
A celebration of life will be held on Saturday, April 15th at 1:00 pm at Redeemer Lutheran Church in Fircrest. In lieu of flowers please donate to a charity of your choice.