Article on fake machines that Karen used / Al Bergstein (Husband)Read >>
Article on fake machines that Karen used / Al Bergstein (Husband)
The Seattle Times has published a series of articles on the "Miracle Machines", machines that claim to cure all the world's ills. Karen was suckered into buying one of these machines in her last year of life. I have helped the Seattle Times by allowing her story to be used. Karen was "every woman", in that she was someone that was well educated but ultimately her belief that something might cure her lead her to spend thousands of dollars chasing frauds.
After reading an over view of her incredible life you realize there is so much more that can't be put into words. Loyalty and kindess are words that are first on my list. Thank you Karen and Al for sharing a part of your life with me. Barbara
Ripple Effect / Holly Morrison (family friend )
Karen and my parents were college friends, but the friendship extended longer and deeper than that. Karen is (I think of this in the present tense, because I can't help feeling that she's still connected to us) my brother's godmother, and I'd be jealous of that, but I got the chance to bask in her warmth and kindness too. There were several times during high school when I needed to stay late, and the commute back to my island home was too much to handle. Karen & Al's house was one of my favorite "stayover" homes. I was a country mouse, intimidated by the city, but Karen took the time to meet me and walk with me, helping me discover confidence and delight as we sampled gelato and the treasures of local bookshops. I loved these small adventures and the way she listened so deeply, with so much respect for my fledgling thoughts and perspectives. Close
good news for her.... / Bree
times are comming when no resident will say: I am sick. the people dwelling in the land will be those pardoned for their error... (Isaiah 33:24) Resting now but awaken later..... Close
friend/ Pat Baird Atchison (school friend )Read >>
friend/ Pat Baird Atchison (school friend )
Karen was always such a happy,kind,caring person.I was a friend in grade school through high school.I wish I had known her as an adult.She had a truly amazing life.What a legacy she has left behind.I'm so glad you shared her loving memory with us. Pat Atchison Close
May her memory comfort us all / Rachel And Robert Beckmann (colleague, friends )
As a colleague, Karen's passion for justice for children was a keen example for all of who worked with her within the juvenile justice system. As a friend and neighbor, Karen's interest in and knowledge of the world around her and her generosity of spirit inspired all who knew her.
And, she was an awful lot of fun to hang out with.
I wanted to give you all my condolences, Al. I didn't know Karen very well, but she was always very nice to me and my family when we saw her. She had an absolutely amazing life - I had no idea! Port Townsend is one of my favorite places on earth - I would think a wonderful, loving place to spend your last days. I am thinking about you, and hope you are well. Very Truly, Suzanne
Thanks, God, for this wonderful person / Le Roi Brashears
I always saw a deep fire within Karen for helping kids who didn't catch the extra breaks that others did. I always sensed that if an actual physical fight would do it, Karen would have been right in there with no hesitation, punching away at anything that wasted the lives of kids. Kids need defenders, and you sent us a wonderful one.
Karen made a difference. The world is much better for her being here.
I wish I'd known Karen / David Rossiter (Friend of Al )Read >>
I wish I'd known Karen / David Rossiter (Friend of Al )
Though I had met Karen a couple of times, what I knew of her was through Al. Even so, I didn't know about the remarkable breadth of her life experience and her contributions to society. The world will miss her greatly. Close
A star for the ages... / Gerry Albert (Friend & Associate of Al )
As a business associate of Al's, Karen and I only met a few times across a span of more than a dozen years but her sincerity, compassion and warmth was unmistakable. If there is an afterlife, Karen earned a place of honor - if its reincarnation she returns on a higher plane in the evolutionary spiral of life. Condolences and best wishes to all of Karen's loved ones, with heartfelt sympathy for those you leave behind.
surprising neighbor / Debbie And Jim Jennings (neighbor and friend )Read >>
surprising neighbor / Debbie And Jim Jennings (neighbor and friend )
Karen and Al have been our neighbors for many years. Lots of hellos and lendings across the fence. We have always known she was a great individual and quite concerned for the world. We knew not , however, just how many people and places she has touched. There is an emptiness in our worlds we will all have to fill with good and happy memories of her and the things she did. We will miss her. Close
With Deepest Sympathy / Dave Campbell Family (Backburner friends )Read >>
With Deepest Sympathy / Dave Campbell Family (Backburner friends )
Karen was truly a blessing and will remain an inspiration. The depth of her loss is unfathomable.
It was an honor to know her. We will treasure those brief moments of our Pt Townsend visits, walking, preparing food, listening to music, talking, and playing Scrabble.
Our thoughts and prayers are with Al and Isaac and the rest of Karen's family and friends at this difficult time.
Dave and Carrie, Laurel, Raleigh, and Savannah Close
In loving remembrance, my condolences to friends and family / Marla Streator (Friend of many years )Read >>
In loving remembrance, my condolences to friends and family / Marla Streator (Friend of many years )
The first time I met Karen she was wearing a babushka, standing at the side of the road in Santa Barbara with her thumb out. She had just returned from Europe and was hitch hiking to the Bay Area to visit her friend Suzanne on her way to Washington. I don't usually go out of my way to pick up hitch hikers but after passing her by it dawned on me that I really wanted to give her a ride so I exited the freeway and made my way through the dust and gravel of road construction to where she stood. The same magnetic draw that said “You’ve got to pick up this one” surfaced time and time again throughout our friendship. Whenever we “should” be together there was an almost tangible feeling present, some information was to be shared or some support given… This was true to the very end.
One of the last times I saw Karen, the night before she died, she was laying in a hospital bed at home, candles lit in a darkened room. Al, collapsed from many sleepless nights was resting in a chair by her side, feet up and Sami the cat curled on his lap. I left that night with peace in my heart and the thought that this is how it should be.
The beginning. The end. And lifetime of friendship in between…
I will miss my dear friend but will continue to draw inspiration from her undying positive attitude and her willingness to embrace a full and vibrant life.
A tribute for Karen and her many accomplishments. / Lois Nicholas (friend and coworker )
Dear Al, Issac, Pauline, Clayton, Suzanne, and Lori, Although I considered Karen to be a dear friend, my primary contact with her was at the JRA Region 4 office where we were coworkers for many years. I can't tell you all how many times during those years I asked myself how I could have been fortunate enough to be there working with her. She was dedicated, wise, funny, compassionate, totally committed to the clients of JRA, creative, determined, supportive, brave, and smart. For many years Karen, Nancy German, and I were the management team of the office. As such we had total respect for, and confidence in, eachother and we knew our union was unique. In the evening, after other staff had gone home, we would often sit for a while in an office sharing information and making plans. Karen was a creative program developer who wanted to provide the best treatment she could for youth in JRA Region 4 programs. Many successful programs were launched due to her astute observations and great ideas. She was not afraid to work hard or to take on unusual tasks outside normal professional duties. (Once I found her mopping up water in the basement of the building after the sewer drains had overflowed. She also climbed up on the roof to make sure the workers were doing a good job of patching a leak.) Her range of information was astounding but she never used her intelligence to show off or belittle others. Her intent was always to be helpful and supportive. Over the years Karen was greatly loved and admired by staff who worked in the Region 4 office and staff from other agencies who collaborated with her on various projects. Her ability to bring people together and to achieve results was amazing. She orchestrated many events to recognize others and raise money to benefit others. She never sought recognition herself or power over others. I am confident many, many youth in King County have better lives because of her efforts and the efforts of staff she trained and inspired.
I'm sure you all know your wife, mother, daughter, and sister was a radiant, wonderful person. I know she loved you all very much. I feel so fortunate to have known Karen and to have been able to share in her life. I wish so much it could have been longer. She remains a brilliant star. Lois Nicholas Close
A Magnificent, Generous Friend! / Antoinette Botsford (friend)
I have Karen stories from now to forever, and some from the past as well.
Karen had such a "can-do" philosophy. In this way she inspired me to move forward on my dreams--both of helping others and helping myself to be a more engaged, involved person. Her courage and persistence in the face of all kinds of situations (many of them, unfortunately, painful) was--and IS--marvelous. She was always hospitable, invariably kind. In the old days we used to walk around the Green Lake neighborhood and talk about houses and gardens. We talked about the kids she was mentoring, about work with at-risk kids generally, and it was she who encouraged me to expand my storytelling scope in this direction--a move I have never regretted.
When I would visit and she was painting a room or canning food, I learned that even I could do things like this.
Cheerful and energetic, kind and patient. What a woman.
Her engagement with life was both physical and metaphysical and we savored an ongoing conversation that ranged from healthy diet, Chinese philosophy, environmental and political concerns to Barbara Kingsolver's latest book--on and on. The conversation never grew limp or stagnant.
She loved "Big Al" and Isaac above all. She often spoke to me about ways in which she could help make their lives better, more meaningful, healthier. And she loved her entire family--always had good things to say about them. It was a pleasure to meet everyone whom she loved--whether it was in-laws, people from the job site, school friends, neighbors, bluegrass folks, Isaac's friends, people from Mingtang's meditation group.
She brought out the best in all of us. Close
With love... / Louis &. Sharon Allen (Backburner Friends )Read >>
With love... / Louis &. Sharon Allen (Backburner Friends )
Dear Al and Isaac, Karen...what a wonderful person. We were so blessed to have known her. May your memories surround you, comfort you and bring you peace. Close
Rememberance/ Philip &. Sue Hubbard (Friends)
Karen was our friend. She was generous, enthusiastic and always fun to be around. We loved visiting Al and Karen in Port Townsend and spending a quiet time walking through Fort Warden.
Karen was and is an inspiration. She was a fighter, Sue and I used to talk about Karen's battle with cancer, with her trips to china, Chagong treatments, and all of the other things she did to fight to regain her health. Although she eventually lost her physical health, her spiritual healt continued right up to the end. She never gave up and never ever dispaired. She inspired us.
We miss her a lot. Close