Born July 9, 1956, in Portland, Ore., Karen Dawn Losinski passed away from a cancer of unknown origin Oct. 23, 2013, at the age of 57, at her home in Brookings, Ore.|
Karen grew up with three brothers supported by both parents. She felt fortunate to have parents who loved the outdoors and took the kids camping, hunting and fishing at every opportunity. Her ability to catch fish and be a crack-shot were second to none. Karen had the gifts of cooking and establishing "home" wherever she was.
At the tender age of 16, Karen wed Donald Fawver and bore a son. Being abandoned after one year and then divorced, Karen then met Wally Hamilton, bore a son and raised both boys while traveling with various logging shows and living off the land. Her fondest memories as a mother were taking her boys into the woods and teaching them skills that supplemented their lives. Seeing the end coming to her 18-year marriage, Karen took up nursing, following in the footsteps of her aunts, Edna and Minnie.
She graduated as a registered nurse from Clackamas Community College in 1989, divorced, then took her first airplane ride to Alaska in 1993. Karen fell in love with the rugged and wild beauty of Alaska, often saying how much she felt Alaska had to offer. She packed up everything and drove to Alaska in August 1994. During her moves to various places of lodging, Karen met her latest landlord and future husband. Their friendship ignited like a forest fire that soon found them fulfilling each other's wish to work on their bucket lists.
Karen spent the last 17 years with Joe, helping to raise his kids, experiencing the birth of her grandkids in Alaska, building and remodeling houses, honeymooning and fishing in Costa Rica, vacationing in the Hawaiian Islands, exploring the Mayan ruins, sipping Venezuela rum, and living the life of a military spouse.
Being the amazing woman Karen was, she proved herself the consummate professional in every aspect of the nursing profession. She worked in the field of oncology early on and received accolades on her teaching skills. In Fairbanks, Karen worked long-term patient care and then outpatient care. She paved the way in community care throughout Fairbanks. Karen managed Home Health Care and Home Medical Equipment.
Aside from her ability to succeed up the career ladder, Karen's academic skills were superior and proven in her ability to obtain the general nursing practice certification by the American Nurses Credentialing Center.
Karen stood by her husband when the difficult decision was made to move, because of her husband's health condition. When offered a staff nurse position working for the local VA community based outpatient clinic, Karen helped move to Brookings, Ore. She helped the clinic pass their first Joint Commission on Accreditation of Health Care Organizations (JCAHO) inspection and fulfilled many of the managerial duties, even when the administration did not honor their contract with her.
Karen's upbeat, positive personality and beautiful smile will be sorely missed. There was one message she wished to convey to all women: "When pain starts to move from its original spot, get an examination by your primary health care doctor immediately."
Survivors include her husband, Joseph H. Losinski, of Brookings, Ore.; sons, Donald and Jeremy, with five grandchildren; and brothers, "Bill," Jeff and Mark, all from the Portland, Ore. area. Remembrances may be sent to Coastal Home Health & Hospice, 29984 Ellensburg, Gold Beach, Ore., 97444. Karen donated her body for science to MedCure, Inc. in Portland, Ore.
Published in Daily News-Miner on Nov. 9, 2013