Karen Sue Nolan, 59, of Marquette, MI passed away unexpectedly at home on December 28, 2013.
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She was born on April 27, 1954, in Lansing, Michigan, to parents Woody and Mary Nolan.
She was a graduate of Lansing Eastern High School, class of 1972. She was also a graduate of Michigan State University, class of 1976, where she studied forestry. Karen was a pure straight A student at MSU, graduating with a 4.0 average; she also did graduate work at Oregon State University through 1979.
She then embarked on a twenty-seven year career with the United States Forest Service, retiring in 2006 from the Mount Baker District of the Mount Baker/Snoqualmie National Forest in Concrete, Washington. Throughout her career she was a gifted writer and editor, and worked on numerous USFS projects throughout the Pacific Northwest. She led many environmental analyses and environmental impact statements for everything from road building, timber harvest, interpretive centers, and trails/backcountry work. She was a skilled project manager and greatly enhanced the quality of the assignments she took. She had many friends throughout Region 6, USFS/USDA. She relocated from the Pacific Northwest to Marquette in 2009, to be closer to family living there.
Karen was a loving, gentle, warm woman with a big heart. She loved her family and cats dearly. She enjoyed hiking, mountain climbing, flying in the small plane built by her husband and herself, and travel from the Arctic to the Caribbean islands. She climbed both Mt. Hood and Mount Baker, two of the great volcanoes of the Pacific Northwest. She hiked throughout the North Cascades of Washington state. She traveled by horse and mule into the Pasayten Wilderness. She loved Michigan and its upper peninsula and visited many scenic and remote corners of the state. She was an outstanding cook and a master pie baker. She was a figure skater and downhill and cross-country skier. Karen was an expert picture framer and ran her own picture framing business for a time. She was a talented seamstress and knitter. She had a wonderful eye for color, design, and patterns. Her taste for dress and decoration was superb, and her advice on these matters was impeccable. In short, she was a beautiful, kind, talented and devoted friend.
She is survived by her husband, John Scurlock, siblings John (Pat) Nolan of Shelby Township, Michigan; Bill (Jane) Nolan of Marquette; Pat (Charlie) Bell of Lansing, Michigan, and numerous nieces, nephews, and grand nieces and nephews. Her friends and relatives are heartbroken at her passing, and her gentle presence of grace and humor will be deeply missed.
Friends may call at the Fassbender Funeral Home on Friday, January 3, beginning at 1:00 pm. A memorial service will follow at 2:00 pm with Rev. Steve Hulke officiating.
Condolences may be expressed online at fassbenderfuneralhome.com
Memorials may be made to the Upper Peninsula Land Conservancy, www.uplandconservancy.org
Fassbender Funeral Home
622 N 3Rd St Marquette, MI 49855
Published in Skagit Valley Herald Publishing Company on Jan. 3, 2014