Brown, Dr. Karen Ann
Karen Ann Brown died Aug. 21, 2016 of pancreatic cancer. She was born Mar. 19, 1949, the oldest of five children of Betty Ann (Preston) Brown and Robert Benton Brown. Karen graduated from the University of Washington in 1971 with a BS in dental hygiene. After graduation, she was hired by Northern Arizona University. She began her MBA studies at NAU while serving as dental hygiene department chair. In 1977 she moved back to Seattle and transferred to the MBA program at the UW, graduating in 1979. After completing her Ph.D. degree, Karen accepted a tenure-track position at Seattle University, and advanced to the rank of full professor. In 1998, Karen taught at IESE in Barcelona, Spain, as a visiting professor. She also began her 15-year relationship with the China-Europe International Business School (CEIB) in Shanghai, where she led executive seminars. Karen's personal life revolved around her children, son Preston and stepdaughter Kippy. In 2000, Karen accepted a full-professor position at UW, Bothell. Thunderbird School of Global Management lured her back to Arizona in 2006. Managing Projects: A Team-Based Approach, co-authored with Nancy Lea Hyer, was published during her time at Thunderbird, as were many research findings in professional journals. She retired from Thunderbird as Professor Emeritus in 2014 to devote herself fulltime to battling her pancreatic cancer. Karen's extensive climbing adventures included summiting Mt. Rainier and Mt. Kilimanjaro. The Grand Canyon was her favorite; she hiked into Phantom Ranch and rim-to-rim-to-rim, countless times. In 2014, Karen married David Wolford, her soul mate and companion of the previous six years. Karen was preceded in death by her brother David, mother Betty Ann, and father Robert. She is survived by her son Preston Clark, grandson Oliver Clark, husband David Wolford, siblings Gail Brown Quigg (John), Robert Benton Brown, Russell Preston Brown (Jan Davis), and her stepchildren Kippy Irwin (Scott), Heather Wolford Personne (Matt), Scott Wolford (Heidi), and Jackie Wolford Christensen, along with their seven children. Her family suggests donations in her memory to the Honor Health Research Institute, 8125 N. Hayden Rd., Scottsdale, AZ 85258. Celebrations of Life for Karen will be held Sunday, Sept. 11, from 2-57 PM at The Sanctuary, 5700 E McDonald Dr., Paradise Valley, AZ 85253 in Phoenix, AZ and Sunday, Oct. 2, from 2-5PM, at the Washington Athletic Club, 1325 6th Ave., Seattle, WA. 98101.
Published in The Arizona Republic from Aug. 27 to Sep. 4, 2016.