Karen Faye Memory

August 16th, 2015

Karen Faye Memory (née Summach) 1943-2015, passed into the arms of her Heavenly Father at her home in Surrey, BC on August 16, 2015 after a brief illness with pancreatic cancer.

Karen is survived by her husband of 51 years, Cecil Memory, their son, Robb, their daughter and son-in law, Julie and Geoff Dirks, and grandsons Aaron and Daniel Dirks, and by her sisters Gaylene Wigmore and Glendene So, and by her brother Kreig Summach, and by many cousins and nephews and nieces.

Karen was predeceased by her parents, Delbert and Vivian Summach, and by her sister, Myrna.

Karen was a woman of great personal strength and will. She did not tolerate adversity, stupidity, or condescending bank managers.  She initially trained as a Registered Nurse at Saskatoon City Hospital, graduating in 1964, worked as a pediatric nurse in Saskatoon, and later, after moving to Cranbrook, BC, as an Operating Room nurse.  When she left nursing she turned her talents to retail sales, and eventually owned her own high fashion women’s clothing store.

When the family subsequently relocated to Vancouver, BC Karen began a new career as an Executive Legal Assistant. With a smile on her face, and a fake-it-’til-you-make-it-attitude, she quickly absorbed new skills and eventually rose to work exclusively for various firm partners at several large downtown firms, ending with the law firm of Lawson Lundell until she retired in June 2010.

Karen was blessed with a strong creative instinct and a great sense of spatial relations, design, and color.  Her many talents were clearly seen in whatever she turned her hand to.  She had a craft room to be envied and spent many happy hours in it. She leaves behind many fine examples of:  sewing, ceramics, handmade jewellery, painted and recovered furniture, paintings, and most recently knitting, as well as a beautifully decorated home.

Karen discovered she had a green thumb, and took great pleasure and pride in planting and nourishing potted flowers and shrubs and trees of many varieties, although at one point upon being asked how she managed to keep several baskets of flowers flourishing on the north side of the house, she unashamedly replied “They’re silk!” and admitted to dusting them regularly.

Karen was passionate about Cruising. She was actively planning the next cruise into the Mediterranean when she fell ill.

Karen was the life of any coffee group she was in, she liked a good joke and a good laugh. When she heard the diagnosis of pancreatic cancer she quickly declared that she chose to laugh rather than cry. And she did exactly that.

At all times Karen accepted that God, her loving Heavenly Father, was in control, and she accepted His plan for her life. She had peace in her heart and was comforted by the knowledge that she had been accepted as a child of God.

The family thanks Drs. Fletcher, O’Mahony and Segal for their loving and perceptive care of Karen, and Surgeons Scudamore and Segedi of Pancreas Center BC/Vancouver General Hospital for their valiant attempt at Whipple surgery, and the medical team in Unit N52 of Surrey Memorial Hospital for the careful balancing of pain medications which allowed Karen to be at her home, and the Fraser Health Palliative Care team for their consistent home care and support.

Celebrations of Karen’s life will take place at South Delta Baptist Church in Tsawwassen on September 19 at 2:00 pm, and at First Alliance Church in Calgary on October 17 at 1:00 pm.

Karen was an avid user of Facebook.  Final messages can be left on her profile at https://www.facebook.com/karen.memory.9. Please post before Dec 1 as the family will be making a commemorative Social Book from her timeline.

Memorial contributions are welcome. The Saskatoon City Hospital Alumnae have established the Alumnae Endowment Fund to fund the upkeep of the Nurses Chapel in perpetuity. For information and to donate contact Tracy Boyle, Saskatoon City Hospital Foundation, 701 Queen St., Saskatoon, S7K0M7. (If you do donate, make sure to indicate that the donation is for the Nurses' Chapel in memory of Karen.)

You are invited to leave a personal message of condolence for the family.


We knew Karen as our neighbour here at Westfield for the last 10 years. She was a lady with a beautiful smile and great sense of style. Karen always took the time to say hello and visit while in her yard or out walking her dog. She will be missed and we send our condolences to her family and friends.

I feel an immense sadness and loss of a friend with Karen's passing. Although I did not work with Karen directly at Lawson Lundell I spent most coffee and lunch times together. She brought spirit, wit and many laughs to those times. I admired Karen's creative talents and looked on with amazement as she transformed a ball of wool into a wonderful creation. I know she will be missed greatly by her family. Such a force of energy and spirit will be missed by all her knew her. I am sorry not to be able to attend her Celebration of Life as I will be travelling. I will be thinking of her and her family and friends and wishing them peace and fond memories.

What a lovely picture and tribute of Karen. You truly captured the essence of my very close friend. She will be missed and thought of often. Love, Bonnie

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