Karen Eileen Kennedy died May 2, 2012 in Juneau, Alaska. Karen was born to the late James and Patricia Kennedy on October 30, 1956 in San Diego, California. She was raised in Livermore, California and moved to Juneau in 1971, graduating from Juneau Douglas High School in 1975.
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Karen was an athlete her whole life. In high school she participated in swimming, basketball and cross-country running, lettering in all three sports. She attended the University of Alaska Fairbanks majoring in English/Office, and started bodybuilding and long-distance running. She was a life guard during high school and in college.
After college Karen moved back to California. Bodybuilding became her hobby and she started entering contests in 1980. She won second place in the 1980 Ms. Western America competition. She retired shortly after due to marriage and then pregnancy.
Karen moved back to Juneau permanently in 1991. She was mostly a stay-at-home mother to her two children, but also continued to work as a personal trainer through out the years until her death.
Aside from her passion for physical fitness, she enjoyed arts and crafts, walking her dog Lola, and especially spending time with her four grandchildren.
She is survived by her daughter Jessica (Ty) Thomson and son Nik Reis of Juneau; grandchildren Trevor Thomson, Roxy Symons, Jaxon Reis and Colby Thomson, all of Juneau; sisters Kathryn Kennedy King and Colleen (Bryan) Kautz of Juneau; brother James "Jay" Kennedy of Anchorage; former husband and father of her children Bob Reis of Lincoln, NE; aunts Carol Geanoulis of Juneau and Grace Hawkes of San Diego, CA; uncle Chuck Treadwell of Palo Alto, CA; cousins Steve Geanoulis (Erin McGinnis) of Juneau, Lugh Powers of Los Angeles, CA, Susan Rackley of San Diego, CA, and Donna Love of Madison, WI; niece Jayne Deatherage of Anchorage; nephews David Kennedy and James "JT" Kennedy of Anchorage.
In lieu of flowers, please consider making a donation to the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention Alaska Chapter (www.afsp.org), or the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence – Juneau Affiliate (www.ncaddjuneau.org
Published in The Juneau Empire from May 11 to May 21, 2012