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Karen Ann Ellison Carns

1946 - 2017 Obituary Condolences
Karen Ann Ellison Carns Obituary
Karen Ann Ellison Carns

Karen was born August 19, 1946 in Santa Monica, California. The first of two children born to Robert Andrew Ellison and Evelyn Stevens Ellison in the post World War America, Karen Ann Ellison was a sweet platinum blond, rosy cheeked, ball of joy for her two struggling adventurous parents in the New America. It was the new forward-looking America that was the promise of the golden state.

Raised in Redondo Beach, Karen did well in school and had a wonderful and close circle of childhood friends growing up. She went on multiple camping trips with her family including to Yosemite, Big Bear, Arrowhead, Big Sur, the California dessert, and a three-week driving/camping trip to and from Vancouver Island to visit relatives. She was a producer of neighborhood plays, a Brownie, a Girl Scout, a fledging student of ballet, a baton twirling pre-teen, a tolerant sister, and a dreamer.

In her early teens she was moved by the Civil Right movement of the 50-60's and, though too young, was insistent that her parent let her take the bus to join the protesters on Selma, Alabama. As a post high school student at El Camino Community College life became darker for Karen. By the time she was 19-20 the demons of schizophrenia broke her will and in 1968 she had her first breakdown. She managed to work some, have a brief marriage to Robert Carns, but a normal life became more and more of a struggle for her. Karen Ann Ellison Carns took to alcohol to self-medicate, turned to the Catholic Church and the AM radio to find solace. She was a big fan of Elton John. Eventually she turned to the radio and TV evangelists where her fear and paranoia could flourish.

For decades her mother worked feverishly to understand, find treatment and support Karen as her life crumbled. Her father loved his daughter deeply but what was happening to her was beyond his comprehension.

Karen lived at Lakewood Heath Center in Downey California for many years until she moved to Windsor Palms Care Center in Artesia where she was lovingly cared for and spent the last two decades of her life when she passed away January 9, 2017. She is survived by her brother Thomas of Santa Cruz. Any remembrances can be sent to National Alliance on Mental Illness, PO Box 360. Santa Cruz, CA. 95061-0360. Please sign guestbook, www.dailybreeze.com.
Published in Daily Breeze from Mar. 24 to Mar. 26, 2017
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